Wednesday, March 14, 2018

01 Painting, Streets of Paris, by the artists of the time, Part 23 - With Footnotes

Constantin Kluge, French, 1912-2003 
Place des Vosges 
Oil on canvas 
35 x 45 3/4 inches (88.9 x 116.2 cm) 
Private collection

The Place des Vosges, originally Place Royale, is the oldest planned square in Paris. It is located in the Marais district, and it straddles the dividing-line between the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of Paris. It was a fashionable and expensive square to live in during the 17th and 18th centuries, and one of the central reasons Le Marais became so fashionable for the Parisian nobility.

Originally known as the Place Royale, the Place des Vosges was built by Henri IV from 1605 to 1612. A true square (140 m × 140 m), it embodied the first European program of royal city planning. It was built on the site of the Hôtel des Tournelles and its gardens: at a tournament at the Tournelles, a royal residence, Henri II was wounded and died. Catherine de Medicis had the Gothic complex demolished, and she moved to the Louvre Palace. More on The Place des Vosges


Constantin Kluge (1912–2003) was an award winning painter originally from Russia. Raised mostly in Manchuria and Beijing, Kluge eventually settled in Paris and became a French citizen. He is known for his French landscapes and romantic scenes of Paris.

Kluge was born into a family of means and some status. His paternal grandfather had spent years in France studying the cultivation of vines and wine making. Returning to Russia he developed a successful winery. Kluge's father, also Constantin, was a member of the Russian Army General Staff and a White Army sympathizer. Kluge's mother, Liouba Ignatieva, was an academic who also came from a military family. When his parents met, young Liouba was serving as tutor to the children of Russian Grand Duke Michel, the younger brother of Czar Nicholas II. The family moved often, following Constantin Sr.'s deployments with the counter rebellion armies. Each move seemed to take the family further and further east as the revolution spread and the White Sympathizers controlled a decreasing part of the country.


Kluge settled in Paris in 1950 and soon thereafter found representation in a French gallery on Rue Saint-Honore. In 1964 he became a citizen of France. He died on 9 January 2003 in France. More on Constantin Kluge




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