georges rouault prints
French painter, draughtsman, printmaker and designer, Georges Rouault created a personal style of Expressionism that gives him a highly distinctive place in Modern Art. Rouault was born in 1871, in the cellar of a house in Belleville, a working class quarter of Paris near the Père Lachaise cemetery, while the city was being bombarded by government troops quelling the Paris Commune. His father was a finisher and varnisher of pianos at a local factory. Rouault’s grandfather was an amateur art collector who bought engravings, lithographs and Rembrandt painting reproductions. From 1885 to 1890 Rouault was apprenticed to a stained glass maker, his work included the restoration of medieval glass; the vivid colors and strong outlines characteristic of the medium left a powerful imprint on his work.
“I am far from being a perfect man and have endless failings and shortcomings, but I also have boundless confidence in certain ideas I hold clear. I have neither a powerful intellect nor great knowledge with which to defend them, but, such as they are, my artistic talents (and I believe I have some) and spontaneous style I can adopt suffice for me to say what I want with fire and love.”
Sheet size: 25 5/8 x 19 3/4 inches.
Works from “Miserere,” Georges Rouault’s masterly series of prints on just that theme, made between 1916 and 1927, are on view now at the Worcester Art Museum, along with selections from two other print projects, “Fleurs du Mal” and “Réincarnations de Père Ubu,” and a few others.
WORCESTER — Mercy is not a theme we see much in art these drily conceptual days, or even in the last century. It’s easy enough to find outrage, furor, and passion in work by Picasso, Pollock, or de Kooning, but mercy has fallen out of favor.
The Christian subject matter is clear, but Cartwright insists the series also expresses universal themes.
Media: Etching with aquatint
French expressionist and religious painter. Georges Rouault was the son of a cabinetmaker. Trained as a maker of stained-glass windows (1885-90) before studying at the School of Fine Arts in Paris where he was encouraged to develop his talent (1891-98). After his conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1895 he concentrated on Biblical themes in his paintings, etchings and lithographs. In 1905 he exhibited with the Fauves (Matisse, etc) but wasn’t influenced by them. Instead he came under the broader expressionist school which dealt with intensely felt human emotions (Chaim Soutine, Edvard Munch, etc). Georges Rouault also painted scenes from the street, prostitutes, judges and tragic clowns as well as some still lifes. His style was basically melancholy, portraying the tragedy of the human condition, but with hope in Jesus.
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