|Théatre sur les Grands Boulevards
Oil on Canvas
Antoine Blanchard was often introduced to collectors as the foremost
artist of Parisian street scenes of his day. Like his predecessors,
the French masters Galien-Laloue, Cortes, Loir and Utrillo, Blanchard
has made an impact on contemporary art.
Born in 1910 in a small village near Blois in the Loire Valley,
Blanchard was encouraged at a young age to enter the arts. His
parents first sent him as a young boy to an art school in Blois,
and then relocated the entire family to Rennes in Brittany so
that young Antoine could study there at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
Three years later, in 1932, the young artist moved to Paris in
order to Study at its world famous Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Upon
completion of his studies, Blanchard was awarded the Prix de Rome,
an honor rarely given to an artist of his young age.
|Scène d'une rue de Paris
Oil on Canvas
The following years were spent in Paris recording scenes of the
citys bustling streets characterized by glowing street lamps,
flower vendors pushing carts full of brilliantly-colored bouquets
and fashionable pedestrians crowding the sidewalks. The artist,
whose works were an immediate success, favored the styles of Eugene
Galien-Laloue and Edouard Cortes. Indeed, critics have compared
his works to the traditional Paris street scenes painted in the
late 1800s and early 1900s in both style and subject
matter. It is, however, important to note that Blanchards
pieces are more delicate in brushwork, more generous in color
and more alive in movement than those of his predecessors.
Combining his years of classical training with innovative techniques
of the 20th century, Blanchard was a trendsetter. The
artists works executed throughout his fifty year long career
are witness to his gradual development in technique, moving from
heavy and dark tones similar to those of the old masters, to a
new style using numerous strokes of color lightly applied to the
canvas. With immense imagination, profound understanding of color
and light and accuracy in architectural detail, Blanchard has
continually delighted the art world with his compositions.
In 1979, his large canvas Le Café de la Paix won
the Premier Grand Prix at the first art competition held in Paris
famed Café de la Paix on the bustling Boulevard des Capucines.
That work is now part of a major collection in Salt Lake City,
Spanning five decades of ceaseless hours spent in front of the
easel, Blanchards career was fired by a pressing goal to
continually excel. This strict discipline did not, however, harden
his work it proved only to refine it. Along with Utrillo,
Loir, Guys, Galien-Laloue and Cortes, Antoine Blanchard is one
of the great impressionists of modern times.
Text & Images courtesy of Simic New Renaissance Gallery
© 2004 Simic New Renaissance Galleries