Tag: French painting

Late style: Edgar Degas looks at a flax field

December 17, 2021 3 Comments
Late style: Edgar Degas looks at a flax field

In 1892 Edgar Degas was around 58 years old.  Not old, certainly by our standards, and he had twenty years and more left to live.  But the landscapes he painted in the 1890s tend to get called ‘late paintings’, with good reason.  Degas was a Parisian, an urban painter, and the works of his youth […]

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The ageing of Henri Rouart

October 2, 2021 1 Comment
The ageing of Henri Rouart

Henri Rouart was one of Edgar Degas’ oldest and most loyal friends.  They went to same school in Paris, Lycée Louis-le-Grand, and served in the artillery together during the Franco-Prussian War (Degas was an indifferent soldier).  Rouart became an engineer and industrial designer, specialising in vapour-compressed refrigeration.  He owned a successful company and used his […]

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The revolutionary gaze of Constance Mayer

December 19, 2020 2 Comments
The revolutionary gaze of Constance Mayer

In a room a woman, about thirty years of age, sits alone. The room is plain, with two bare walls, dark and grey.  Its furniture is sparse, just a chair and a round table with round brass handles.  The woman wears a simple white cotton dress.  It has a high waistband and lacks sleeves, leaving […]

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Laura Cumming and Degas’ ‘The Bellilli Family’

February 22, 2020 3 Comments
Laura Cumming and Degas’ ‘The Bellilli Family’

Many people have praised Laura Cumming’s book On Chapel Sands: my mother and other missing persons (Chatto & Windus, 2019).  It begins, like a novel, with a sudden disappearance: of her three-year-old mother, in summer 1929, from a sunny beach on the Lincolnshire coast.  Like a detective story it pieces together what happened, and tries […]

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Edgar Degas does some more ironing

October 8, 2019 0 Comments
Edgar Degas does some more ironing

A while ago I drew attention to the pictures Edgar Degas made of women ironing.  I tried to show how this unusual theme brought out the best in him as a painter.  This week, in Avignon, I came across another fine example that I hadn’t seen before. It’s on display in the Musée Angladon.  This […]

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