William Bouguereau

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Biography written by Brian Yoder.

As a young man, Bouguereau put himself through the Ecole des Beaux-Arts by keeping books for a wine merchant and coloring lithographic labels for a local grocer. In his spare time, late in the evening, he created drawings from memory. This diligence and discipline resulted in an extraordinarily productive artistic life. Bouguereau produced more than seven hundred finished works and achieved a remarkable level of public acclaim and financial success. He never forgot his difficult early days, however; working secretly, he assisted young artists who were struggling as he had to pursue an artistic career in the face of financial difficulties.

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Like many painters of the second half of the 19th century, Bouguereau made a careful study of form and technique and steeped himself in classical sculpture and painting. True to his serious and industrious nature, he worked deliberately and industriously: before beginning a painting he would master the history of his subject and complete numerous sketches.

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The tenderness with which he portrayed children and domestic scenes, his technical skill and passion for the classics, and his love of rich color are hallmarks of Bouguereau’s exquisite paintings.

Nymphs and Satyr

Nymphs and Satyr

There can be little doubt that Bouguereau was one of the most talented painters of his time, but it is a shame that he has fallen into obscurity with museum curators and those supposedly sophisticated about art who think that ugliness and lack of content imply depth and talent.

The Bathers

The Bathers

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Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson

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Sometimes artistic talent goes beyond words . . .

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, 1767 – 1824, was a French painter and pupil of Jacques-Louis David, who was part of the beginning of the Romantic movement by adding elements of eroticism through his paintings. Girodet is remembered for his precise and clear style and for his paintings of members of the Napoleonic family.

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Girodet started in school by studying architecture and pursuing a military career. He later changed to the study of painting under a painter named Luquin, before entering the school of David. From 1789 to 1793 he lived in Italy where, at the age of twenty-two, he successfully competed for the Prix de Rome thus making a name for himself for his painting of the Story of Joseph and his Brethren. At Rome he painted his Hippocrate refusant les presents d’Artaxerxes and Endymion-dormant (presently held in the Louvre), work which was praised at the Salon of 1793.

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Back in France, Girodet painted many portraits, including some of the members of the Napoléon family. In 1806, he exhibited “Scène de déluge” (Louvre), to which (in competition with the “Sabines” of David) was awarded the decennial prize. This success was followed up in 1808 by the production of the “Reddition de Vienne” and “Atala au Tombeau” a work which went far to deserve its immense popularity, by a happy choice of subject, and remarkable freedom from the theatricality of Girodet’s usual manner, which, however, soon returned again in his “La Révolte du Caire” (1810). Girodet was a member of the Academy of Painting and of the Institute of France; a knight of the order of St. Michael, and officer of the Legion of Honor.

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Girodet produced a vast quantity of illustrations, amongst which may be cited those for the Didot Virgil (1798) and for the Louvre Racine (1801-1805).

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Sigmund’s Grandson, Lucian Freud

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He is the son of Jewish parents Ernst Ludwig Freud, an architect, and Lucie née Brasch. He is the grandson of Sigmund Freud, brother of the late broadcaster, writer and politician Clement Freud (thus uncle of Emma and Matthew Freud) and of Stephan Gabriel Freud,

Freud and his family moved to England in 1933 to escape the rise of Nazism, and became British citizens in 1939. During this period he attended Dartington Hall school in Totnes, Devon, and later Bryanston School.

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Freud briefly studied at the Central School of Art in London then, with greater success, at Cedric Morris’ East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing in Dedham, and also at Goldsmiths College – University of London from 1942-3. He served as a merchant seaman in an Atlantic convoy in 1941 before being invalided out of service in 1942. In 1943, Tambimuttu, the Ceylonese editor, commissioned the young artist to illustrate a book of poems by Nicholas Moore entitled “The Glass Tower”. It was published the following year by Editions Poetry London and comprised, among other drawings, a stuffed zebra (-cum-unicorn) and a palm tree. Both subjects reappeared in The Painter’s Room on display at Freud’s first solo exhibition in 1944 at the Alex Reid & Lefevre Gallery. In the summer of 1946, he travelled to Paris before continuing to Greece for several months. Since then he has lived and worked in London.

After Cezanne

After Cezanne

His painting After Cézanne, which is notable because of its unusual shape, was bought by the National Gallery of Australia for $7.4 million. The top left section of this painting has been ‘grafted’ on to the main section below, and closer inspection reveals a horizontal line where these two sections were joined.

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Freud’s early paintings are often associated with surrealism and depict people, plants and animals in unusual juxtapositions. These works are usually painted with relatively thin paint, but from the 1950s he began to paint portraits, often nudes, to the almost complete exclusion of everything else, employing a thicker impasto. With this technique he would often clean his brush after each stroke. The colors in these paintings are typically muted.

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Brian Biedul

It never ceases to amaze me how talented artists find new way to compose their work, especially when the subject is the human form.  Such an artist is Brian Biedul.  Here he combines an element of architecture with the human body in his Cubes and Squares series.

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Brian Biedul was born in Colorado Springs in 1955. He spent the better part of his adolescence in Europe where his love of art began. While living in Paris he was enrolled in his first art class under the instruction of Siegfried Hahn. After returning to America he spent time in various cities across the United States including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles where he later settled. In 1984 he graduated with a BFA from Art Center College of Design where he later taught Saturday figure drawing classes.

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Biedul’s artistic development can be divided into several periods. In his early years he began with figurative painting in oils influenced heavily by the Dutch Masters. Later he began creating works of abstract expressionism influenced by the works of Mark Rothko and Franz Kline. He followed that period with installations and earthworks in the desert where his idea of Theoretical Architecture was born. Through this experimentation he found the content that would define his future work.

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