"Equestrienne" by Rouault
"Equestrienne", 1938, Georges Rouault
Georges Rouault (1871-1958) was a French Expressionist painter and one of the finest artists of the 20th century. First apprenticed to a glass painter as a teenager, he achieved admission to the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1891, where he became the favored student of renowned Symbolist painter, Gustave Moreau. These influences strongly transformed his art as he imbued his paintings with glowing colors and thick black outlines that mimicked stained glass, and infused his work with the intense spiritual symbolism of his professor. A good friend of Henri Matisse, Rouault was also an important member of the brief Fauvist movement. Like his colleagues, Rouault's art emphasized painterly qualities and varied texture of the surface.
Rouault later became one of the leading Expressionist painters in France. His subjects ranged from kings to circus folk to commoners, but he is best known for his religious works. After strengthening his Christian faith, he became devoted to themes of death and resurrection. He was deeply disturbed by the pain and suffering wrought during World War I, and his relationship with religion was his salve. He often contrasted the suffering of humanity with the suffering of the Savior in his art, and is revered today as one of the greatest Christian artists of his time.
Part of his Circus of the Shooting Star series, Equestrienne is not simply an observation of a popular form of 1930s entertainment, but a commentary on life at the time. Rouault envisioned the circus to be an embodiment of human existence. With its painted clowns, beautiful ballerinas, and animals performing humorous tricks, it was parallel to the human effort during the Great Depression to put on a face and enjoy life despite being in constant flux searching for a new job, just like the circus folk traveling from state to state. The gravity and sadness of the ballerina is evident, as she looks down, she and the horse going round and round in a circle for the amusement of others.
- Onastasia Youssef
Plate size: 12" x 8"
Sheet size: 16" x 12"
Condition: Some age toning along edges, otherwise in excellent condition