Sunday, December 20, 2009
This painter taught Monet and Renoir?
This is a typical painting by the Swiss artist Marc Gabriel Charles Gleyre. Monet and Renoir found themselves his students in the 1860s for a time and soon left due to (shall we say?) radical differences of style. In my endless paths of research for CLAUDE & CAMILLE, I came across a description of his Paris studio which was typical of the time:
"....a great barn, where the wind came in through every crack, lit by two enormous windows...a model stand, a high stool, two broken chairs, an old armchair, a chest of drawers which held drawings, a table with a basin and some soft soap for washing brushes...two or three easels and portfolios leaning up against the walls and a coal house for storing fuel. Gleyre would not allow anyone to sweep up because dust was bad for paintings, and he used for a long time to sleep in the room on a camp bed and so caught rheumatism."
This is from a fascinating book called Daily Life of French Artists in the Nineteenth Century by Jacques Letheve, translated by Paddon.