Rolla, 1878: Canvas Replica Painting: Small
By artist Henri de Gervex (1852-1929) in the Muse Beaux-Arts Bordeaux
Medium: 33.25"Wx28.25"H framed (25"Wx20"H image size 4.375"W frame)
About The Artist
Henri de Gervex (1852-1929)
French painter. His artistic education began with the Prix de Rome winner Pierre Brisset. He then studied under Alexandre Cabanel at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris where his fellow pupils included Henri Regnault Bastien-Lepage Forain Humbert and Cormon; and also informally with Fromentin. Gervex's first Salon picture was a Sleeping Bather (untraced) in 1873: the nude both in modern and mythological settings was to remain one of his central artistic preoccupations. In 1876 he painted Autopsy in the Htel-Dieu (ex-Limoges; untraced) the sort of medical group portrait he repeated in 1887 with his Dr Pean Demonstrating at the Saint-Louis Hospital his Discovery of the Hemostatic Clamp (Paris Mus. Assist. Pub.) which celebrated the progress of medical science with a sober quasi-photographic realism.
Gervex's most controversial picture was Rolla (1878; Bordeaux Mus. B.-A.) refused by the Salon of 1878 on grounds of indecency partly because of the cast-off corset Degas had insisted he include. The painting shows the central character in a de Musset poem Jacques Rolla who having dissipated his family inheritance casts a final glance at the lovely sleeping form of the prostitute Marion before hurling himself out of the window. As his friend Manet had done the year before with his rejected Nana (1877; Hamburg Ksthalle) Gervex exhibited his work in a commercial gallery with great success.
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