Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mystery Artist

The critics universally respected his work. One of them said: “His presence will be assured in the museums of the future.” Another called him, “One of the uncontestable masters of our epoch.”

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany called him “One of the greatest glories of the entire world.”

He was a friend of Eugene Delacroix. “All of us will be forgotten,” Delacroix said. “But he will be remembered.”

In the 1880s, when Van Gogh was secretly hoping to sell a painting for 50 francs (about the price of a three day’s stay in Paris for a tourist), our mystery artist sold a canvas for 840,000 francs. His paintings were by far the most expensive in France in the later part of the 19th century.

Who was he? Please vote in the poll at left. Answer and results on Saturday.
Thanks, R.K., J.M. and M.C.


Anonymous said...
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Joseph Sapulich said...

Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier

Erik Bongers said...

I have to admit that many of the names in that list I have never heard of.
Who is Claude Monet?

No just kidding.
But I have never heard of
J.J. Benjamin-Constant
Leon Bonnat
Jules Breton
Gustave Caillebotte
Alexandre Cabanel
P. Dagnan-Bouveret
Ernest Meissonier
Puvis de Chavannes
Horace Vernet

So should i feel ashamed? No, of course not. I just feel curiousity - a much better sentiment!

Erik Bongers said...

About those who voted for Mr. Bugger-off...I cannot imagine that Delacroix was a big fan of these 'pale skin sweet little girls with big dark eyes' paintings.

But like with most of these blog's quizzes, I'll probably be utterly wrong again.

Unknown said...

It's Meissonier.

Frank said...

William Bougereau (sp)

jeff said...

I voted for Bougereau but I think Meissonier was more successful and is the mystery artist.

Victor said...

It has to be Meissonier. Alfred Chauchard purchased "The Campaign of France, 1814" for some 850,000 francs (or a million francs, according to one text). Chauchard had deep pockets; he payed 800,000 francs for Millet's "The Angelus" and a million francs for his "The Shepherdess". Some people complained that he was over-paying and driving up prices.

More here:

Anonymous said...

I was first thinking of William Bougereau… but Meissonier could fit well :)

flasputnik said...

None of the above. It was Carl Von Marr.

Laraine Armenti said...

I'm going with Puvis de Chavannes. He was certainly the most influential. As a classicist, he is largely overlooked by 20th century historians.

Laraine Armenti said...

After a quick review, I discovered PdC was influential but not financially successful. This is a tough call: Monet, Bouguereau (Degas called him a pornographer) or Cabanal were all huge. I've switched my vote to Bouguereau.

Anonymous said...

Messionier was certainly technically great and does not deserve to be forgotten, especially if you really like horses and military paintings. But obviously Delacroix blew it on this one.

Tim said...

I'd guess Gerome

J-P said...

I'm with the Ernest Meissonier lot.

James Gurney said...

Yes, Meissonier was the winner. Check out the other post that explains: