Mr X - Rouault - Framed Picture 11"x14"
Georges Henri Rouault was a French painter, draughtsman, and printer, whose work is often associated with Fauvism and Expressionism.
His mother encouraged his love for the arts, and aged fourteen, Rouault embarked on an apprenticeship as a glass painter and restorer. This early experience as a glass painter has been suggested as a likely source of the heavy black contouring and glowing colours, likened to leaded glass, which characterize Rouault's mature painting style. He entered the École des Beaux-Arts, the official art school of France. There he studied under Gustave Moreau and became his favorite student. Rouault's earliest works show a symbolism in the use of colour that probably reflects Moreau's influence, and when Moreau died in 1898, Rouault was nominated as the curator of the Moreau Museum in Paris.
Georges Rouault also met Henri Matisse, Albert Marquet, Henri Manguin, and Charles Camoin. These friendships brought him to the movement of Fauvism, the leader of which was considered to be Matisse.
From 1895 on, he took part in major public exhibitions, notably the Salon d'Automne (which he helped to found), where paintings with religious subjects, landscapes and still lifes were shown. In 1905 he exhibited his paintings at the Salon d'Automne with the other Fauvists. While Matisse represented the reflective and rationalized aspects in the group, Rouault embodied a more spontaneous and instinctive style.
His use of stark contrasts and emotionality is credited to the influence of Vincent van Gogh. His characterizations of overemphasized grotesque personalities inspired the expressionist painters.
In 1907, Rouault commenced a series of paintings dedicated to courts, clowns and prostitutes. These paintings are interpreted as moral and social criticism. He became attracted to Spiritualism and the dramatic existentialism of the philosopher Jacques Maritain, who remained a close friend for the rest of his life.
In 1910, his works were studied by German artists from Dresden, who later formed the nucleus of expressionism.
In 1929 Rouault created the designs for Diaghilev's ballet The Prodigal Son, with music by Prokofiev and choreography by Balanchine.
At the end of his life he burned 300 of his pictures (estimated to be worth today about more than half a billion francs). His reason for doing this was not profound, as he simply felt he would not live to finish them.