More about Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry
In terms of technical style Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry is quite accomplished – his portraiture is amazing. In terms of originality…..maybe Baudry was making sure he kept getting paid.
He won the Prix de Rome in 1850, a scholarship started by Louis XIV, something that Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas couldn’t manage to accomplish. Jacques-Louis David tried three times to win and considered suicide after his last rejection. (The drama queen eventually won in 1774.) Diverging from his normal style, Baudry tried his hand at a historical event, his only one. He decided to depict Jean Paul Marat’s death from a different view point than David’s famous Death of Marat.
Baudry's murals and frescoes are what made him famous, what brought home the bacon, and what tickled his pickle. A lot of these still exist inside fancy homes, hotels, and estates in Europe. Most famously, the Palais Garnier has thirty-some paintings of his, depicting the history of music. It took him nearly ten years to finish it all. I wonder if the Phantom approved? With his sick 'stache and sharp suit he looks like he could’ve been Monsieurs Firmin and Andre’s assistant who never made it to act two.
If you’re ever bored and feeling a little macabre in Paris, pay his funeral monument a visit at the Père-Lachaise Cemetery.
Here is what Wikipedia says about Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry
Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry (7 November 1828 – 17 January 1886) was a French painter.
Baudry was born in 1828 in La Roche-sur-Yon in the Vendée. He studied art under Michel Martin Drolling and enrolled in the École des Beaux-Arts in 1845. He won the Prix de Rome in 1850 for his picture of Zenobia found on the banks of the Araxes.
His talent from the first revealed itself as strictly academical, full of elegance and grace, but somewhat lacking originality. In the course of his residence in Italy Baudry derived strong inspiration from Italian art with the mannerism of Correggio, as was very evident in the two works he exhibited in the Salon of 1857, which were purchased for the Luxembourg: The Martyrdom of a Vestal Virgin and The Child.
His Leda, St John the Baptist, and a Portrait of Beul, exhibited at the same time, took a first prize that year. Throughout this early period Baudry commonly selected mythological or fanciful subjects, one of the most noteworthy being The Pearl and the Wave (1862).
Once only did he attempt an historical picture, Charlotte Corday after the assassination of Marat (1861); and returned by preference to the former class of subjects or to painting portraits of illustrious men of his day: Guizot, Charles Garnier, Edmond About.
The works that crowned Baudry's reputation were his mural decorations, which show much imagination and a high artistic gift for color, as may be seen in the frescoes in the Paris Court of Cassation, at the château de Chantilly, and some private residences the Hôtel Fould and Hôtel Paiva but, above all, in the decorations of the foyer of the Opera Garnier.
These, more than thirty paintings in all, and among them compositions figurative of dancing and music, occupied the painter for ten years. Baudry was a member of the Académie des beaux-arts, succeeding Jean-Victor Schnetz.
Baudry died in Paris in 1886.
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