Friday, January 13, 2012

Delaroche, Paul

The Childhood of Pico della Mirandola
Oil on canvas
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, France

Paul Delaroche (1797 – 1856), in full Hippolyte-Paul Delaroche, born into a wealthy family in Paris, was one of the most popular French painters of the mid-19th-century.
Delaroche's painstakingly realistic historical subjects made him one of the most successful academic artists,  and during his lifetime his work received wider international acclaim than the paintings of Ingres and Delacroix , now considered greater masters. His subjects were painted with firm, solid, smooth surface and dramatic compositions, which gave an appearance of the highest finish.
Delaroche's sound but hard execution allowed no mystery to intervene between him and his metier, which was always intelligible to the million, so that he escaped all the waste of energy that painters who try to be poets on canvas suffer.