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A.-A. Lesrel

Painter

(1839-1929)

“The musicians”

Signed A.A. Lesrel and dated 1912

French School

Oil on panel

Measurements with frame : Height : 82 cm (32 1/4 in.) ; Width : 73 cm (28 3/4 in.)

Painting presenting three musicians and a singer in a luxurious seventeenth century Flemish interior.

Biography

Adolphe-Alexandre Lesrel (1839-1929) entered 1861 the Paris fine arts school, in the Jean-Léon Gérôme’s (1824-1904) studio, one of the greatest artists of the second half of the nineteenth century, then in the Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier’s (1815-1891) studio, an artist whose popularity extended throughout Europe and the United States. Adolphe-Alexandre Lesrel painted historical genre scenes with a romanticized view of the past, in the highly detailed and finished style of his master, adopting then his meticulous academic style characterized by adhering to a strict manner of painting, following narrow compositional rules and delicacy of color. The atmospheric effects are then sumptuously luminescent. Lesrel was known for historical accuracy with a highly detailed and polished style. His most often used realistic indoors subjects, much appreciated among his contemporaries, were jovial musketeers, courtly love and the frivolity of the upper classes mainly dressed in Louis XIII period costumes. Fabrics, gowns, objets d’art, furniture, all were researched to ensure the historical accuracy of his work. His subject matter and technical virtuosity of his brushwork ensures his continuing popularity. Lesrel exposed during many years one or two paintings at the famous Paris Salon of the Society of French Artists as soon as 1885 and of the National Fine Arts Society from 1890. Throughout his career, Lesrel won prices, medals as well as official awards. At the 1889 Paris Universal Exhibition, he was awarded a honorable mention. In 1907, Lesrel left Paris for Genêts, his native town. He died there in 1929.

Museology

– Stained-glass window, Genêts Church.

– L’Alsace-Lorraine, Art and history museum in Avranches.

– The Drinker, Fine arts museum in Nantes.

– Gentlemen in a Tavern, 1876, Fine arts museum in Rouen.

– Dawn, 1868, City museum of Saint-Lô.

– The Chess Players, Public Library, New York City, USA.

– The Connoisseurs, Art Gallery NSW, Sydney, Australia.

Bibliography

Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs, Bénézit, éd. Gründ, 1999, vol. VI, p. 614.

Précis analytique des travaux de l’Académie des Sciences et Arts de Rouen, M. Decorde, Rouen, H. Boissel, p. 140-7.

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