Saturday, March 27, 2010

NANCEIENNE ARTIST




Self-Portrait
Oil on panel, 1885
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy Nancy
Source ARC
From Wikimedia


Photograph of Émile Friant by Scribner's Magazine
Source Scribner's Magazine
Volume 0016 Issue 6 (December, 1894)
From Wikimedia


In the late nineteenth century, Nancy emerged from beneath the shadow of Paris to establish itself as the second artistic center of France. One of the Nancéienne artists was Émile Friant, who began his artistic career at an extremely young age and rose to prominence with his version of naturalism which later manifested into a latent symbolism.
Friant was born in the commune of Dieuze in 1863. His father was a locksmith, and his mother a dressmaker. Madame Parisot, the wife of a chemist, would hire Friant's wife to design custom pieces of clothing. The Parisots treated Friant maternally as they were without children. Due to the Franco-Prussian War, Dieuze was no longer under French control. Parisot had been intensely distressed by this and intended to flee for Nancy, but died before being able to do so. In 1871, Madame Parisot fled with Friant to Nancy, and Friant's biological family followed late.
Friant was to learn Latin at the lycée as Madame Parisot intended for him to become a chemist. Friends of Friant's father suggested sending him to a municipal school of art. Because of his poor work at the lycée, Friant asked for permission to leave and focus on his art. His father agreed, and Friant was placed under a private tutor that would arrange work so that it left time for painting. Under the guidance of Louis Devilly, director of a school in Nancy and a proponent of realism, Friant painted still life and landscapes.
Friant painted Le petit Friant at the age of 15. It was exhibited in Nancy, and he became a "local celebrity" as a result. The municipal council allowed him to travel to Paris a year later. There he studied under Alexandre Cabanel, who directed him to do oil sketches of historical works. Friant, now disenchanted by the academic style and Atelier Method of painting, left for Nancy.
The young artist struggled to reconcile orthodox academicism with an objective rendering of everyday objects that Cabanel would have considered beneath contempt. If Friant's inclination toward naturalism originated with Devilly, it found reinforcement in the friendships he struck up in Paris with three other sons of Lorraine: Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-1884), Aime Morot (1850-1913), and Victor Prouve (1858-1943). The powerful influence of Bastien-Lepage, who by the late 1870s was much in vogue, surfaced in Friant's own naturalistic approach.
(Magazine Antiques, April, 1997 by DeCourcy E. McIntosh)


Interior of the Studio
Oil on canvas, 1884
Location Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy
Source metz.fr
From Wikimedia


In 1882 Friant, encouraged by Morot, made his debut in the Paris Salon with two very different entries: The Prodigal Son and Studio Interior (above). The former, purchased by the state for the museum in Roubaix, was a fairly standard academic exercise. The latter, on the other hand, embodied the objectivity that was gaining the upper hand in Friant's work, and it is the earliest of his paintings to treat the rapport between two figures.
(Magazine Antiques, April, 1997 by DeCourcy E. McIntosh)


Young girl from Nancy in a snowy landscape, 1887
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy Nancy
Source cropped from flickr.com
scanned by palatin8
From Wikimedia


Le musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy
Young girl from Nancy in a snowy landscape
From palatin8's photostream


The Meurthe Boating Party
aka Reunion of the Meurthe Boating Party
Oil on canvas, 1887
Musée de l'Ecole de Nancy Nancy
Exhibited at the Salon of 1888
Source edn.fitech.fr & www.ecole-de-nancy.com
From Wikimedia


Spring
Oil on panel, 1888
Source ARC
From Wikimedia


Les Amoureux (Soir d'automne, Idylle sur la passerelle)
The Lovers (Autumn Evening)
Oil on canvas, 1888
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy Nancy
Source ARC
From Wikimedia


Les Amoureux (Soir d'automne, Idylle sur la passerelle)
The Lovers (Autumn Evening)
Source Idylle sur la passerelle
Uploaded by Trycatch
Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France
From Wikimedia


La Toussaint
Oil on canvas 1888
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy
Scanned by C. Philippot
Source histoire-image.org
From Wikimedia


La Toussaint
From palatin8's photostream at flickr


Wrestling
Oil on canvas, 1889
Musée Fabre Montpellier
Source ARC
From Wikimedia


Auguste Daum, 1889
From Wikimedia


Political Discussion, 1889
Source ARC
From Wikimedia


Cast Shadows
Oil on canvas, 1891
Current location Musée d'Orsay
From wikimedia


In 1891, Friant presented four paintings at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. One of these was Cast Shadows (above) which he was careful to place prominently when submitting his works. He had already depicted young couples, outdoors and indoors, always carefully building his composition around an interplay of looks and hands. He did the same in 1891 but in a much more radical way. The protagonists are placed in front of a wall. The frontal light source, directed upwards, highlights the hands and faces. Beneath the dark clothes, their bodies are reduced to silhouettes. This treatment recalls an extract from Pliny's Natural History recounting how painting was invented: "(Dibutade) was in love with a young man; when he left for foreign lands, she traced the shadow of his face, projected on to a wall by the light of a lantern".
But Friant equally turned to the current research of the time. Degas' work in particular comes to mind, with the effects he achieved using unusual light sources, capable of changing the perception of colour and chromatic harmony.
Going beyond the simple anecdotal painting of a genre scene, Cast Shadows illustrates Friant's reflections on the history of painting, and the links in his work with the innovators of his time.
(musee-orsay.fr)
Little is systematically known about the latter part of Friant’s life. During the 1890s he dealt with several American patrons who wanted to either commission a piece or exhibit his work. One work Les Fiançailles (The Engagements) was chosen for the inaugural Carnegie Annual Exhibition in 1896. He began working steadily with Roland Knoedler, a major art dealer in the period, who put him in contact with Henry Clay Frick, a wealthy art collector whose collection of Old Masters later established the Frick Museum in New York City. But during the 1890’s, Frick also developed a collection of contemporary painters, which included Friant, works which Frick kept in his home in Pittsburgh, before he moved onto New York City.
(Rehs Galleries, Inc.)


artisticanatomyblog.com


Chagrin d’Enfant (A Child's Dissapointment)
Oil on canvas, 1897-1898
Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh
Source ARC
From Wikimedia


In addition to his collaboration with American patron and dealers, in 1895 Friant completed several panels which decorated the Hôtel de Ville in Nancy and also exhibited several drawings at the Exposition de la Société des Aquarellistes at Nancy. Significantly, Friant maintained a staunchly academic manner of creativity as applied to portraits at a time when this type of painting came under attack from the abstract modernists. Throughout the following years Friant continually exhibited at several Salons and exhibitions including the Salon Nationale in Paris and the Salon of Nancy. In 1906 he was named professor of drawing of the École Nationale des Beaux Arts where he continued to teach younger artists the importance of substantial academic method linked to drawing. He died in 1932.
(Rehs Galleries, Inc.)


Guillaume Dubufe
Oil on panel, 1905
Musée d'Orsay Paris
Source musee-orsay.fr
From Wikimedia


Maternal Tenderness
Technique Oil on canvas, 1906
Source goodart.org
From Wikimedia


The life and work of Emile Friant presents an artist who was equally influenced by Paris as well as by his home city of Nancy. But he remained attached to a more academic style of naturalism which appealed to a public both in France and abroad as he demonstrated that the training he received in Nancy could be used to maintain a substantial career.
(Rehs Galleries, Inc.)
His paintings are known for their photorealist qualities. Although his subjects are ordinary people, caught in their ordinary lives, there is a quailty Friant brings to his palette that is so realistic, it becomes almost immortal. His color palette glows, especially the skin tones he creates. They are so real, so translucent, and so delicate, it’s as if one could see or is convinced there is blood flowing through the body of his characters. Soft and so flesh like, the first entity that comes to mind is belief. His paintings captivate such reality he prompts us to forget and remind us at the same time, how mundane life is. The slight gestures and minute detail in expression and body language and the rich and vivid palette reflect these moods.
(The Mental Museum)


The Frugal Repast
Source allartpainting.com
From Wikimedia



1 comment:

buckshot_lefonk said...

thank you for this article. Always glad to find out a fw line and ictures of the outsanding Friant's paintings.