Saturday, January 22, 2011

Théodore Chassériau

                                           ( Self-portrait - 1835 )

Théodore Chassériau became a pupil of Ingres in 1833 at th école des beaux-arts.In 1836 he made his debut at the Salon, establishing himself as a portrait painter.Ruth and Boaz, his first Biblical subject, dates to 1837, and was followed by Suzanne Bathing and the Toliet of Esther, imbued with as youching a sensuality as that found in mythological subjects.He visited Naples and Rome in 1840; he met Ingres, but had already distcanced himself from the style of the master, accentuating the latter's simplification of form to the point that the harmony of the image-based on mannerist painting filtered through the " sublime " - was shattered.On his return, he was commisioned to decorate a chapel in the church of Saint-Merry, Which was completed in December 1842.From 1844 to 1848 he decorated the staircase of the Cours des Comptes, but he interrupted the work for a trip to Algeria in 1846, a chance to study and sketch, later using the results for the orientalist scenes that brought him the most success.

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