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Besnard (Paul) Albert



Paul-Albert Besnard   Pages: 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paul-Albert Besnard (2 June 1849 - 4 December 1934 ) was a French painter.

He was born in Paris and studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, studied with Jean Bremond and was influenced by Alexandre Cabanel. He won the Prix de Rome in 1874 with the painting Death of Timophanes

Until about 1880 he followed the academic tradition, but then broke away completely, and devoted himself to the study of colour and light as conceived by the impressionists. The realism of this group never appealed to his bold imagination, but he applied their technical method to ideological and decorative works on a large scale, such as his frescoes at the Sorbonne, the Ecole de Pharmacie, the ceiling of the Comédie-Française (main theatre in Paris), the Salle des Sciences at the Hôtel de Ville, the mairie of the Ier arrondissement, and the chapel of Berck hospital, for which he painted twelve Stations of the Cross in an entirely modern spirit.

A great virtuoso, he achieved brilliant successes alike in watercolour, pastel, oil and etching, both in portraiture, in landscape and in decoration. A good example of his daring unconventionality is his portrait of Madame Réjane; and his close analysis of light can be studied in his picture Femme qui se chauffe at the Luxembourg in Paris.

In 1912, he became a member of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts and became director of the École des Beaux Arts in 1922. In 1924 he was member of the Académie française (Seat #13), He was represented in the official exhibition of French art held in the United States in 1919-20 by a symbolic portrait of Cardinal Mercier. An important exhibition of his works was shown in different cities of the United States in 1924.

Portrait of Madame Roger Jourdain, 1886





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