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.

Bibliography

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

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.

REFERENCES

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].