Georges Rouault

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Rouault, Georges

(zhôrzh ro͞o-ō`), 1871–1958, French expressionist artist. First apprenticed to a stained-glass maker, Rouault studied after 1891 under Gustave MoreauMoreau, Gustave
, 1826–98, French painter. He was known for his pictures of the weird and mystical. The recipient of many honors, he refused to sell his paintings except to friends.
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. He exhibited several paintings with the fauves (see fauvismfauvism
[Fr. fauve=wild beast], name derisively hurled at and cheerfully adopted by a group of French painters, including Matisse, Rouault, Derain, Vlaminck, Friesz, Marquet, van Dongen, Braque, and Dufy.
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) in 1905. His sorrowful and bitter delineations of judges, clowns, and prostitutes caused a great stir in Paris. The suffering of Jesus was his frequent subject. His thickly encrusted, powerfully colored images, outlined heavily in black, have the effect of icons and a pattern suggestive of stained glass. About 1916, Rouault began more than a decade of work for the publisher Vollard. Using a variety of graphic techniques, he executed a series of about 60 prints called Miserere. He continued to paint the themes he had used earlier, but in a more tranquil style. Examples of his art can be found in many European and American collections. The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, owns his Three Judges and Christ Mocked by Soldiers.


See catalog by P. Courthion (1962); studies by G. Marchiori (1967), J. B. Kind (1969), J. Maritain (1969), and W. A. Dyrness (1972).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rouault, Georges


Born May 27, 1871, in Paris; died there Feb. 13, 1958. French painter and graphic artist.

From 1885 to 1889, Rouault studied glass painting in Paris at the National School of Decorative Arts. In 1890 he enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where he was a pupil of J. E. Delau-nay and G. Moreau. Rouault was influenced by Daumier, by Byzantine mosaics, and by Gothic stained glass. One of the founders of fauvism, he was close to expressionism. Rouault viewed 20th-century life as a sinister tragicomedy full of despair. Using greatly distorted forms (surrounded by a heavy line), contrasts of glowing and dark colors, and an impasto technique, he imbued many of his paintings—which often had a morbid character—with a mystical, symbolic, or religious meaning (for example, his fantastic landscapes and his series The Judges, The Condemned, The Clowns, The Kings, The Crucifixion, and The Passion of Christ). Rouault produced a number of etchings.


Sarab’ianov, D. “Zhorzh Ruo.” Tvorchestvo, 1968, no. 6.
Venturi, L. Rouault: Etude biographique et critique. [Geneva, 1959.]
Courthion, P. Georges Rouault. New York [1962].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Art works by Georges Rouault, Alfred Manessier, Marc Chagall, three major painters, and the photographer, Joel-Peter Witkin, and others, are some obvious omissions.
Eventually, he invited me to show me the studio of Georges Rouault and I was star-struck!
Le Soleil des Eaux by Georges Braque Goutte a Goutte by Henri Matisse L''Opera, from the Paris series, by Marc Chagall The Ballerinas by Georges Rouault
An opportunity to examine the portraiture of Georges Rouault (1871-1958) is at Galerie Interart.
The vast red cape originally designed by painter Georges Rouault for the Siren in Prodigal Son, which Balanchine choreographed in 1929, is equally central to that ballet.
Paintings by Georges Rouault, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Bonnard, even a small Cezanne Bather moved with them to a new apartment on East 82nd Street in 1959, when galleries began to cluster uptown.
That personality comes alive, by implication, through the works that form the meat of the show: paintings, sculptures, works on paper, graphics, and illustrated books that Vollard bought, sold, owned, or commissioned during his career--he began exhibiting and selling works of art around 1892, at age twenty-six, and died in 1939--not only by the celebrated artists who made his portrait, but also by Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Maurice Denis, Edouard Vuillard, Henri Rousseau, Henri Matisse, Andre Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck, Aristide Maillol, Raoul Dufy, Odilon Redon, and Georges Rouault. Vollard's track record is remarkable.
The deaccessioned works include paintings by Amadeo Modigliani, Camille Pissarro, Georges Rouault, Robert Delaunay and Max Beckmann; works on paper by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edgar Degas, Patti Klee and Fernand Leger; and sculptures by Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore.
Some of the images of faces, with bold black outlines and heavy color, are particularly reminiscent of the work of the French Expressionist artist, Georges Rouault, whom Malkin describes as his favorite artist, and who has been considered one of the most significant artists of sacred art in the modern period.
For example, similar questions about archaic and modernist esthetics arise concerning the painting of Georges Rouault, itself influenced by Bloy, and Guyot makes a tantalizingly brief mention of them by quoting Starobinski on Rouault on page 255.