French Artist (1899-1979)
'Tuilerie Gardens, Paris'
Oil on canvas,
16 x 16 in.
Museum of Modern Art, Paris
Museum of Fine Art, Honfleur, Nantes, Avignon, Albi, Belfort, France
Musee du Petit Palais, Geneva
Museum of Rotterdam
Hermitage Foundation, Lausanne.
Marcel Zahar: Maurice Brianchon, Ed, Pierre Caller, Paris, 1949.
Masataka Ogawa: Maurice Brianchon, Zauho Press, Tokyo, 1972.
O. Daulte et P.A. Brianchon: Catalogue de l’Oeuvre Peint, Ed. Bibliotheque des Arts, Laussanne, 2008
Brianchon studied at the prestigious Ecole des Arts Decoratifs de Paris and was nominated as a Professor there in 1936. He became famous for his theater and ballet decors for the Paris Opera, as well as his intimate depictions of Parisian parks and gardens. He was appointed member of the selective Committee of the Salon d’Automne, and in 1934, represented France at the Venice Biennale, winning the coveted Carnegie Prize. In 1946, he was awarded the prestigious Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, was given a solo exhibition at the Wildenstein Gallery in London and had a major retrospective at the Louvre in 1951. The following year, Brianchon was selected as one of the official artists of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in England.
‘Tuilerie Gardens’ is Brianchon’s lyrical expression of the nostalgia he felt for a bygone era. His application of saturated, unmodulated areas of contrasting colors accentuates forms that appear to flatten against the pictorial surface. His black figures anchor the composition, and the mysterious blue shadows cast by the yellow metallic chairs add lyricism to the work. Brianchon’s harmonious composition contains a temporal quality that resonates with viewers and heightens its contemplative nature.
In 'Dancers on Stage, Opera de Paris', Brianchon’s narrow view of the stage is framed on the left with an emerald green curtain. He crops the figure on the right so that she is only partially visible (a technique inspired by Japanese prints). The dancers’ yellow and gold colored tights and deep crimson head decorations contrast with black tonalities, which anchor the figures and heighten the emotive quality of the work. Exaggerated perspective plunge the viewer into the performance, thereby highlighting the immediacy and drama of the scene.
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