Sunday 30 June 2013

The Rejection of Classicism: Émile Jean-Horace Vernet

Émile Jean-Horace Vernet (Paris, France, 30th June 1789 – Paris, France, 17th January 1863) 

Self Portrait with Pipe by Emile Jean-Horace Vernet
Self Portrait with Pipe - 1835

There can be little more illustrious start in life for an artist than being born in the Louvre itself but for Vernet, that's just what happened. A third generation painter, Vernet rejected Classicism and went in search of truth, particularly in his sometimes warts and all depictions of the French military. 

A particular favourite of the duc d'Orleans, the future King Louis-Philippe, Vernet became celebrated for his depictions of battle and eventually added Napoléon III to his patrons, travelling with the French Army to the Crimea in search of subjects. 

According to the author, Dr John Watson, a certain  consulting detective of Baker Street claimed Vernet as a relative, and who am I to argue?

Polish Prometheus by Émile Jean-Horace Vernet
Polish Prometheus - 1831

Hunting in the Pontine Marshes by Émile Jean-Horace Vernet
Hunting in the Pontine Marshes - 1833


Blue said...

I admittedly don't know a lot about French history, but I do know that the Louvre hasn't always been a museum.

And I love his extend-o-pipe!! LOL

Catherine Curzon said...

Yes, it's a pipe and a half!

The Louvre started life as a fortress and went through a number of uses before it became a museum. Hmm, I think there might be a post in that!