Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Louis Anquetin

For today's image, I have decided to trace back my own art training history to see where it leads. My main painting instructor has been a man named Michael Molnar. Molnar was a student of Joseph Sheppard. Joseph Sheppard was a student of Jacques Maroger. This takes me back to the end of the 19th century. One more step back and I land at Louis Anquetin. Anquetin was a contempory and friend of Toulouse-Lautrec. This may not mean anything to anyone but I have a certain affection for the impressionists and this time period in art history and to be able to trace my teaching directly to that period is exciting for me. The piece I am looking at is called Clichy Avenue. When I look at this piece, I can definitely see similar characteristics to Toulouse-Lautrec and a resemblance to Van Gogh's Starry Night over the Rhone. As I quickly researched, it seems this painting may have actually been an inspiration for Van Gogh's work. The large areas of flat color was common at the time in history and brings to mind Lautrec as well as Gaugin and Cezanne. As I continue to come across, Anquetin uses a complimentary color scheme of blue and oranges balancing the weight of the orange hues with a smaller patch of red-orange in the lower right corner. Most of the figures in this work are abstracted with very few details. The focal point of the piece is the brightest yellow point located in and as the flame of the front lantern. The lantern is shaped as an arrow which leads the eye down to the ground level and into the crown of people. I have always been a fan of Van Gogh's "Rhone" and considering the great similarity of it to this piece, I can appreciate this one as well, especially with the added historical link to my own studies. One word of note is that apparently, Anquetin gave up on this style of painting and instead persued a more academic style which was passed on to his students which is unfortunate as the style shown above as truly intriguing in its own right.

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