11 Paintings, Streets of Paris, by its Artists from 1850-1910 - Part 8 - With Footnotes

Paris, France's capital, is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Its 19th-century cityscape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the River Seine. Beyond such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Wikipedia

Claude Monet, (1840-1926)
The Rue Montorgueil in Paris. Celebration of 30 June 1878, c. 1878
Oil on canvas
H. 81; W. 50 cm
Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay), Paris

The Rue Montorgueil, like its twin painting The Rue Saint-Denis (below), is often thought to depict a 14 July celebration. In fact it was painted on 30 June 1878 for a festival declared that year by the government celebrating "peace and work". This was one of the events organised for the third Universal Exhibition in Paris a few weeks after it opened, and intended to be a symbol of France’s recovery after the defeat of 1870. As well as demonstrating nationalist enthusiasm, the celebrations of 30 June 1878 were also an opportunity to strengthen the position of the Republican regime, still fragile only a few months after the major confrontations of 1876-1877 between its supporters and the conservatives. It was only two years later, in 1880, that 14 July was designated the French National Day.

This painting proposes a distanced vision of an urban landscape by a painter who did not mix with the crowd, but observed it from a window. The three colours vibrating in Monet's painting are those of modern France. More Rue Montorgueil

Claude Monet, (1840-1926)
Rue Saint Denis, fête 30 juin 1878, c. 1878
Oil on canvas
H. 81; W. 50 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen

The chroniclers noted the enthusiasm of this day of Sunday 30 June when the tricolor flag triumphs in the streets of Paris. According to Goncourt, even the hearses taking their dead to the cemetery were flagged. 

The street is shown, stormed by the jubilant people of Paris, into a plunging view, with a strong perspective, the dark triangle of the crowd rising towards the inverted triangle of the sky. Set with a quick touch, in flames of pure colors, the flags float, slam, Twist and become masters of space.  More Rue Saint Denis

Oscar-Claude Monet (14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926) was a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term "Impressionism" is derived from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which was exhibited in 1874 in the first of the independent exhibitions mounted by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the Salon de Paris.

Monet's ambition of documenting the French countryside led him to adopt a method of painting the same scene many times in order to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons. From 1883 Monet lived in Giverny, where he purchased a house and property and began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works. In 1899 he began painting the water lilies, first in vertical views with a Japanese bridge as a central feature, and later in the series of large-scale paintings that was to occupy him continuously for the next 20 years of his life. More Oscar-Claude Monet

Theo Tobiasse
Paris est un théâtre
Oil on canvas
51 x 62 cm
Private collection

Theo Tobiasse was born in Palestine in 1927 to Lithuanian parents. Due to financial difficulty, at a young age, Tobiasse was forced to move to Kovno then Paris, where his father attempted to find work as a typographer. These moves greatly affected Tobiasse, and the themes of exile and displacement are often found in his works. 

Tobiasse began his formal artist training at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, but his education was cut short during World War II when discriminatory laws forced him to leave school for confinement in his family’s apartment for two years. When the war was over, Tobiasse had amassed a plethora of drawings that helped him launch a career in design and advertising, which he did for fifteen years in Paris and Nice. Tobiasse devoted himself entirely to painting in 1962 after a successful exhibition in Nice.

Theo Tobiasse lived and worked in Saint-Paul de Vence. He died on November 3, 2012. More Théo Tobiasse

Camille Pissarro, 1930 - 1903
La Place du Théâtre-Français et l’avenue de l’Opéra, effet de pluie, 1898. 
Huile sur toile
73, 6 x 91, 4 cm
Minneapolis, Institute of Art, fonds 

Camille Pissarro (10 July 1830 – 13 November 1903) was a Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas (now in the US Virgin Islands, but then in the Danish West Indies). His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro studied from great forerunners, including Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. He later studied and worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac when he took on the Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54.
In 1873 he helped establish a collective society of fifteen aspiring artists, becoming the "pivotal" figure in holding the group together and encouraging the other members. Art historian John Rewald called Pissarro the "dean of the Impressionist painters", not only because he was the oldest of the group, but also "by virtue of his wisdom and his balanced, kind, and warmhearted personality".  More Camille Pissarro

Luigi Loir, (French/Austrian, 1845-1916)
Devant la Musee
Gouache, chalk and graphite on cardboard
10" x 14"
Private collection

Luigi Loir, (French/Austrian, 1845-1916), was born in Austria of French parents employed by the French Royal Court in exile. In 1847 the family relocated to the Duchy of Parma, where the young man was to enter l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts at the astonishing age of 9. Upon the completion of his studies, Loir moved to France to train under Jean Amable Amedee Pastelot (1810-1870). He had his debut at the Paris Salon in 1865; though he did not receive any medals, his work caught the attention of critics and patrons, and he spent several lucrative years working as a muralist, ceiling painter, and illustrator before deciding to concentrate on landscapes in 1870. Enthralled by the vigorous urban progress of Belle Epoque France, Loir soon tuned his meticulous attentions to the architecture and denizens of Paris. One of the first to concentrate on such scenes of the bustling and energetic city, Loir influenced such later artists as Eugene Galien-Laloue (1854-1941) and Edouard Cortes (1882-1969). Considered the official painter of the boulevards of Paris, his depictions of his adopted city were admired for their authenticity and attention to architectural detail. Loir's technique included meticulous underdrawings that he frequently allowed to come through the paint surface. The success of this technique, and the impression of immediacy it creates, can be seen in the stunning painting offered here where Loir has intentionally rendered the central building - ostensibly the main subject - in graphite and chalk, with only hints of additional pigment. While such an approach was unusual for the period, it has the effect of immediately drawing the viewer's eye into the complexity of the composition. This effect is only enhanced by the masterful juxtaposition of the linear draftsmanship of the colonnade and the painterly impasto of the sky. Loir received numerous awards and accolades, including a gold medal at the Paris Salon of 1889, was named to the prestigious and influential Office d'Academie in 1889, and made a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur in 1898. More Luigi Loir

Giuseppe De Nittis, 1846 - 1884, ITALIAN
Oil on canvas
53 by 40.5cm., 21 by 16in.
Private collection

In this quintessential evocation of the Belle Epoque, De Nittis captures a couple out on their morning ride along the Avenue Foch. Dressed in the latest Parisian fashions, they canter at a leisured pace, their destination perhaps the Bois de Boulogne, the vast green recreational expanse to the west of Paris. More on this painting

Giuseppe De Nittis (February 25, 1846 – August 21, 1884) was an Italian painter whose work merges the styles of Salon art and Impressionism. De Nittis was born in Barletta, where he first studied under Giovanni Battista Calò. In 1863 he launched his career with the exhibition of two paintings at the 1864 Neapolitan Promotrice. De Nittis came into contact with some of the artists known as the Macchiaiol.

In 1867 he moved to Paris. After gaining some visibility by exhibiting at the Salon he returned to Italy where he produced several views of Vesuvius.

In 1872 De Nittis returned to Paris and achieved a success at the Salon with his painting Che freddo! (Freezing!) of 1874. In that same year he was invited to exhibit at the first Impressionist exhibition, held at Nadar's. De Nittis was not accepted by all of the Impressionists, and did not participate in their subsequent exhibitions.

Giuseppe De Nittis,  (1846–1884)
La place des Pyramides, c. 1875
Medium oOht: 92.3 cm (36.3 in). Width: 75 cm (29.5 in).
Musée d'Orsay

A trip to London resulted in a number of Impressionistic paintings. In 1875 De Nittis took up pastels, which became an important medium for him in his remaining years and which he helped popularize. Back in Paris, he executed pastel portraits of sitters including De Goncourt, Zola, Manet and Duranty. 

De Nittis exhibited twelve paintings in The Exposition Universelle of 1878, and was awarded a gold medal. In that same year he received the Légion d’honneur.

In 1884, at the age of 38, De Nittis died suddenly of a stroke at Saint-Germain-en-Laye. More De Nittis

Built between 1806 and 1836, the Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon I and based on the Arch of Titus in Rome. Following damage in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the Arch underwent restoration work in the mid 1870s (fig. 1). In his celebrated views of Paris at this time, De Nittis was particularly drawn to subjects which represented the city reborn, rising Phoenix-like from its troubled recent past. Painted the same year as the present work, La Place des Pyramides juxtaposes Frémiet's new gilded bronze sculpture of Joan of Arc against the reconstruction of the west wing of the Louvre, following arson during the Commune of 1871. More on this painting

Edmond Grandjean, 1844 - 1908, FRENCH
Oil on canvas
77 by 126cm., 30 by 49½in.
Private collection

While the Haussmanian architecture and wide tree-lined boulevard remains recognisable today, the buildings to the right of the scene were subsequently demolished to connect the top of the Boulevard des Italiens to the Boulevard Haussmann, which was not completed until 1922. A number of the boulevard’s celebrated cafés disappeared in the 20th century to be replaced by banks, however the Café du Cardinal visible on the left remains to this day, its entrance then as now surmounted by a bust of Cardinal Richelieu. More Boulevard des Italiens

Edmond Grandjean, 1844 - 1908, FRENCH

Edmond Grandjean, 1844 - 1908, FRENCH, was a painter of genre scenes, portraits, animated landscapes and town views. 

Pupil of the Paris School of Fine Arts (1862). He studied under Adolphe Yvon, Emile Signol and Isidore Pils. He exhibited at the Paris Salon and from 1865 till 1906 at the 'Salon des Artistes Français'. He was awarded an Honourable Mention in 1881, received a Third Class Medal in 1888, a Second Class Medal in 1898 and another Honourable Mention in 1900 at the 'Exposition Universelle'. 

He mostly painted genre scenes and animated landscapes with horses. More Edmond Grandjean

Max Beckmann, b. 1884, Leipzig, Germany; d. 1950, New York City
Paris Society, c. 1931
Oil on canvas
43 x 69 1/8 inches (109.2 x 175.6 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Paris Society is Max Beckmann’s portrait of émigrés, aristocrats, businessmen, and intellectuals engaged in disjointed festivity on the eve of the Third Reich. Beckmann painted the work on an invitation from the German embassy in Paris.

Guests nclude the central figure, Beckmann’s friend Prince Karl Anton Rohan; the Frankfurt banker Albert Hahn, at the far right; the music historian Paul Hirsch, seated at the left; the German ambassador Leopold von Hoesch, at the lower right, with his head in his hands; and possibly Paul Poiret, the French couturier, standing at the left. But why they are together in this scene and what their peculiar postures denote remain a matter of speculation. More Paris Society

Giovanni Boldini, (1842-1931)
Celebration also known as Celebration at the Moulin Rouge, Circa 1889
(with familiar faces in the background!)
Oil on canvas
H. 96,8; W. 104,7 cm
Musée d'Orsay,

Here, Boldini is certainly depicting the Moulin-Rouge just after it opened in 1889. The establishment quickly became one of the hot spots of Parisian nightlife. The vigorous and dynamic brushstrokes and the liveliness of the red recreate the feeling of fun and freedom, sweeping along diners and dancers alike in a brilliantly rendered composition.
Before the Musée d'Orsay acquired it in 2010, this painting, certain parts of which remain as in sketch form, had only ever been exhibited once, in 1933 in New York. More the Moulin-Rouge

Giovanni Boldini (31 December 1842 in Ferrara, Italy – 11 July 1931 in Paris, France) was an Italian genre and portrait painter. According to a 1933 article in Time magazine, he was known as the "Master of Swish" because of his flowing style of painting. Boldini was born in Ferrara, the son of a painter of religious subjects, and in 1862 went to Florence for six years to study and pursue painting. He only infrequently attended classes at the Academy of Fine Arts, but in Florence, met other realist painters known as the Macchiaioli, who were Italian precursors to Impressionism. 

Moving to London, Boldini attained success as a portraitist. He completed portraits of premier members of society. From 1872 he lived in Paris, where he became a friend of Edgar Degas. He also became the most fashionable portrait painter in Paris in the late 19th century. He was nominated commissioner of the Italian section of the Paris Exposition in 1889, and received the Légion d'honneur for this appointment.

A Boldini portrait of his former muse Marthe de Florian, a French actress, was discovered in a Paris flat in late 2010, hidden away from view on the premises that were unvisited for 70 years. The portrait has never been listed, exhibited or published and the flat belonged to de Florian's granddaughter who went to live in the South of France at the outbreak of the Second World War and never returned. A love-note and a biographical reference to the work painted in 1888, when the actress was 24, cemented its authenticity. The full length portrait of the lady in the same clothing and accessories, but less provocative, hangs in the New Orleans Museum of Art. More

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