Monday, May 31, 2010

Artist of the Week: Louis Anquetin


French painter. He came to Paris in 1882 and studied art at the Ateliers of Bonnat and Cormon, where he was a contemporary and friend of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Emile Bernard and Vincent van Gogh. His early work shows the influence of Impressionism and of Edgar Degas. In 1887 Anquetin and Bernard devised an innovative method of painting using strong black contour lines and flat areas of colour; Anquetin aroused much comment when he showed his new paintings, including the striking Avenue de Clichy: Five O’Clock in the Evening (1887; Hartford, CT, Wadsworth Atheneum) at the exhibition of Les XX in Brussels and at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris in 1888. The new style, dubbed Cloisonnisme by the critic Edouard Dujardin (1861–1949), resulted from a study of stained glass, Japanese prints and other so-called ‘primitive’ sources; it was close to the Synthetist experiments of Paul Gauguin and was adopted briefly by van Gogh during his Arles period. Anquetin’s works were shown alongside Gauguin’s and Bernard’s at the Café Volpini exhibition in 1889, where they attracted considerable attention among younger artists.

The contemporary critic Edouard Dujardin praised Anquetin for inventing a style based on heavy outlines and flat areas of color, which resembled cloisonne enamels.

In 1882, he came to Paris and began studying art at Léon Bonnat's studio, where he met Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The two artists later moved to the studio of Fernand Cormon, where they befriended Émile Bernard and Vincent van Gogh. wikipedia

Photograph from 1886 of Vincent Van Gogh and Emile Bernard

 After viewing this painting Van Gogh wrote in a letter that influenced his painting 
Cafe Terrace at Night (below) . I had previously assumed it was the other way around.

Portrait of Henri de Toulouse Lautrec

The Van Gogh Museum recently acquired this painting by Anquentin

Moulin Rouge


  1. His work really is magnificent and it's remarkable to see the multiple influences among the famous French painters of this period. The Cafe Terrace came as a real surprise to me too. Looking at a dozen pieces one after the other as you've posted them has been a treat and a revelation too. He was a very unique artist with a very distinct style.

  2. Superb. Sad to see the new that Louise Bourgeois has died although she did live to a fine age.

  3. thanks for continuing our education & appreciation

    Aloha from Waikiki, Friend

    Comfort Spiral

  4. Susan - so glad you enjoyed this post. I went back over the choices I made just now and I'm happy with what chose. I just went with those paintings I liked the most. Toward the end of his career, Anquentine stopped painting this type of painting and painted in the style of the old masters. Perhaps for money? There wasn't that much biographical info. on the web about him - at least nothing in-depth.

    Cloudia: thanks!

    Jams: I did hear of Louise Bourgeous passing away. She was very old - close to 98? I haven't read an obit yet. What a remarkable, amazing woman.

  5. These are wonderful, and so inspiring to me right now. Perfect! I will be looking into further into his work. Thank you!


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