Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dynamic Downshots of Devambez

André Devambez (1867—1944) was a French artist who was fascinated by the bird's eye view.

His most famous painting is called "The Charge," which shows a confrontation between demonstrators and police on the Boulevard Montmartre. The black cluster of demonstrators in the lower area flees in a disordered mass from the regular line of the police, while spectators watch from the margins.

Devambez studied with Jean-Benjamin Constant and Jules Lefebvre in Paris. In this scene he shows the welcoming parade for President Woodrow Wilson. Blues and browns echo through the spectators and the uniformed horsemen. 

Families say goodbye to departing soldiers at Gare de L'Est railway station during the mobilization for the Great War. The fence in the middle keeps back the edge of the crowd.

Devambez also illustrated children's books. Here's a rout in a Medieval battle, with fleeing soldiers in animated poses in the foreground. Again, he sets up contrasts between big groups of figures.

He both wrote and illustrated for children's book, and in that sphere, his work was more fanciful.

Devambez also produced many illustrations in "Le Figaro illustrated" and was always fascinated by new modes of transportation—airplanes, automobiles, trains, and ships.

Biography of  André Devambez
More at Art Inconnu

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