Saturday, November 29, 2014

Gouache Master: Albert Brenet

Albert Brenet (1903-2005) was a French artist who painted primarily in gouache. 


As a child he loved to paint pictures of ships in port. Ships remained a favorite theme all his life. 
 
In 1921 he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. 

For seven months he sailed the Antilles on the Bonchamp, one of the last French sailing merchant ships.

He traveled widely and painted scenes of colorful locations around the world, including equatorial Africa and the West Indies.


His gouache paintings were relatively large, requiring a big board and easel.


He worked for many years for the magazine L’illustration, and he painted many posters depicting railroads, aircraft, ships, and architecture for the travel trade.


These subjects require accurate perspective and confident handling of detail.

In the painting above, note how he simplifies the far silhouette and the foreground textures to put the focus on the middle-ground train and the overhead wires.

He delighted in tight cropping, active foregrounds, and immense scale. He achieved scale by alternating big and little strokes, choosing unusual viewpoints, and setting figures back in space.

Look how he blurred the feet of the walking figures, and parked that sales wagon right in the foreground.
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There's a 2003 Book on Albert Brenet, available here. It's 192 pages, written in French. Includes marine art, railroad art, and assortment of other subjects, mostly in gouache.
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Read more online about Albert Victor Eugene Brenet:
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Do you know these other artists?
Eugène Burnand
Josep Tapiró Baró

6 comments:

Roberto Quintana said...

I really enjoy these posts introducing us to new/old friends.
Welcome home to you and Jeanette, and thanx for sharing your adventures w us.-RQ

Rich said...

Wow! Thanks for bringing this (hitherto unknown to me) master to our attention!

Looking at those gouaches felt like attending a gourmet five-course menu.

Charley Parker said...

Wonderful! Thanks!

krystal said...

Wow. This is wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

David J Teter said...

Really stunning and exciting gouache works.
Thanks James, I have never heard of him, a great find.

BTW the link for Eugene Burnand isn't linking.
And on that note another great artist who worked in watercolor/gouache was automobile artist Walter Gotschke.
http://linesandcolors.com/2010/07/13/walter-gotschke/

Shaun Stipick said...

The sense of scale on the ocean liner painting is impressive. Exceptionally well done. Just...wow!