Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fernand Toussaint

Elegant Lady with a Music Score
other detail unknown

Fernand Toussaint (1873-1956) was born in Brussels. He specialised in painting portraits of women, still lifes and city-scapes, in the Impressionist, Art nouveau, and Post-Impressionist styles. In his works there is a pervading atmosphere of tranquillity and discrete light, where silence and reserve convey respectability. It was his studies of women that remained dearest to his heart throughout his life. The attitude of his models is always elegant, with a natural regard and pose and his sitters, whether young or not-so-young, convey the qualities appreciated at the time, a certain hermetic gravity and lack of communication.

He studied art at the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts, but when he was eighteen left to finish his studies in Paris. He loved and was appreciated in Paris, but he was also attracted to London and to British painters in whose works he discovered the poetic and sentimental charm of the Englishwoman. With his refined taste and sensitivities, he also excelled as a painter of flowers. He had a particular predilection for roses, often in full bloom, but more modest and even fragile flowers such as pansies and sweet peas were depicted with the same delicate attention and emotion. His entire work reflects the influence of French Impressionism, his admiration for the tradition of English portraiture, and the Belgian Romantic tradition even as his own developed and so produced typical attractive works of art.