Sunday, November 17, 2019

Red Hair in Art: Paul-Albert Besnard

Paul-Albert Besnard (1849 - 1934) was a French painter and printmaker.

A great virtuoso, he achieved brilliant successes alike in watercolour, pastel, oil and etching, both in portraiture, in landscape and in decoration. Partly under the influence of Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds, whom he studied during a three-years stay in England, he applied his methods to a brilliant series of portraits, especially of women.

A symbolist in his decorative work, Besnard's frank delight in the external world and his “chic” luminous technique bring him close to the 18th-century French painters. A foundation member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1890, in 1913 he became a member of the Institute. He succeeded Carolus Duran as director of the Académie française in Rome. 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 1923 he co-founded the Salon des Tuileries.

He was represented in the official exhibition of French art held in the United States in 1919-20 by a symbolic 1917 portrait of Cardinal Mercier. An important exhibition of his works was shown in different cities of the United States in 1924.

Buste de femme

Comtesse Pillet-Will

La loge

La femme aux cheveux roux

Madame Georges Rodenbach

The Redhead

Peacock Feathers

Portrait d'une femme
à la chevelure rousse

Portrait of Charley's Children

Portrait d'une jeune femme


Young Red-Haired Woman

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