He was born in 1834 and died in 1917; he comes from a wealthy family, his father is a banker (bank owner), he has a great passion for drawing and decides to devote himself to painting and he greatly admires In gres.
Initially he prefers historical subjects until he meets Monet who initiates him into contemporary painting, introduces him to the Guerbois café and will participate in all the Impressionist exhibitions even if he never wants to be called “impressionist” but will prefer the term “realist”. He says: “There is nothing less spontaneous than my art”.
He will never paint the fleeting impression of the moment but will paint in the studio what he saw, for him memory is of fundamental importance, he only remembers what is important and leaves out what is superfluous. He tries to stop the movement by painting dancers dancing, women washing and combing their hair and running horses.
Towards the end of his career, when he is now old, to paint faster he draws and colors temporarily using pastels that he warms up so that they are more pasty; he also uses photography because it serves as an aid but considers it inferior in fact photography stops the moment while painting is the synthesis of movement.
His is more of a psychological impressionism in fact he represents the characters by investigating their soul.
“The proof”: we find the cinematic cut in the feet that can be glimpsed on the staircase and from the woman. The tutu of the dancers reflect the light, he uses the dancers because they move and dance, he portrays them in everyday and banal moments.
“Absinthe“: people are placed in an environment mediated by light and we find a woman, probable prostitute, sitting next to a man, probable tramp; she with a glass of absinthe and he with a jug of wine. The woman has her arms that fall along her sides, she seems passive with respect to the waist as if she does not have the strength to react while the man looks out the window and has an attitude of arrogance with respect to the waist that we notice from the position of the elbows resting on the table. He uses the cinematic cut that leads us to a path that starts from the cut table, passes to the knife, goes towards the newspaper and then ends up on the tables. The light impressed comes from a window reflected in the mirror.
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