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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Elisabeth Alexeievna By ~ Jean Laurent Mosnier ~ 1743 - 1808.

Mosnier was a student at the Académie de St Luc, Paris, where he trained as a miniature painter. In 1776 he was appointed Peintre de la Reine to Marie-Antoinette. He was approved by the Académie Royale in 1786 and received as a full member in 1788, presenting two portraits of Academicians, the sculptor Charles-Antoine Bridan and the painter Louis Lagrenée I. He exhibited a Self-portrait (St. Petersburg, Hermitage) at the Salon of 1786, showing himself relaxed and confident at the centre of his studio.
After the outbreak of the French Revolution, Mosnier fled to London in 1790 and exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1791 to 1796. His English portraits make some concession to current English taste. From London Mosnier went to Hamburg, where he stayed four years, and then, in 1801, to St Petersburg, a favorite destination for French émigré artists. A potential rival, Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, left the city later that year, and Mosnier assumed an influential position. In 1802 he was accepted into the St Petersburg Academy, and he was made a professor there in 1806. His portrait sitters included the imperial family. Mosnier was a versatile and prolific portrait painter, capable of modifying his style in accordance with changed geographical circumstances, and using his skill as a trained miniaturist to good effect in his highly polished and detailed full-size portraits.

Portrait Of A Lady, By ~ Albert Edelfelt ~ 1854 - 1905.

From promising young Finnish painter to European celebrity, Albert Edelfelt was Finland’s first cosmopolitan art icon. His work was admired by, among many others, Vincent van Gogh. Declining a professorship at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, Edelfelt’s greatest passions were the Parisian lifestyle and summers spent in his native country.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Marquise de Caumont By Francois Hubert Drouais ~ 1727 - 1775.

Drouais was the successor to Nattier as the chief portrait painter at the court of Louis XV. He portrayed most of the leading figures of his age, including the king and his two most famous mistresses, Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry, as well as artists and leading members of the professional classes.

Drouais was born in Paris, the son of the painter Hubert Drouais (1699 - 1767), who was famous for his miniature portraits. Drouais was trained by his father and by other well-known painters, including Carle van Loo, Natoire and Boucher. He became a member of the Academy in 1758, and exhibited regularly at the Salon from 1755 to the year of his death.

Drouais was celebrated for his likenesses of aristocrats dressed in rustic costume, a current fashion, and for his representations of children, often in landscape settings.

Empress Marie Feodorovna.

Marie Dagmar was a Danish princess who married the future Alexander III. This was a case of opposites attracting. Two such different personalities came together in harmony to produce a happy family. Marie loved parties, people, dressing up, and all the gaiety that court could provide. She was immensely popular with the Russians. As Dowager Empress (widow) she had great influence over her son, Nicholas II. During the 1917 revolution she fled the country, living out her days in England.