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Signed l.r.

Pastels on blue paper

24 x 36 cm



An unsung hero of Parisian art of the fin de siècle, Eugène Anatole Carrière was one of the most important Symbolists and an artist who was constantly pushing the boundaries of what was possible in print, pastel and paint:


“...he created images that are intuitively realised by the viewer, not received as visually described facts” [1]



“Artistic process had traditionally been additive...Carrière's innovation was the reverse, a subtractive process. In the mid-1880's he began to apply dilute pigments to the majority of his paintings with brushes so stiff that the bristles produced patterns in the paint" (2). This he would then heighten by rubbing the stiff brush further across the wet surface. Such works were usually spare in colour, almost monochromatic, and haunting in their sfumato-like dimness. His technique was what is now called camaïeu: a method whereby one uses two or three tints of a single colour other than gray to create a monochromatic image without regard to local or realistic colour. 


From this period onwards he grew increasingly well-known in his native France and came to be regarded in particular as one of the greatest printmakers of the late 19th century in that country. His paintings are often of domestic scenes, frequently with his wife's likeness featuring in them. He worked as a teacher at the Academie de La Palette, set up in 1888 and under Jacques-Emile Blanche's direction from 1902. Among his artist friends he was perhaps closest with Rodin, with whom he was oft-associated by critics of the day: "...they made painting and statuary into arts of psychological expression" [3]. The two shared their works, exhibited together and supported each other, with the younger Carrière electing Rodin to the committee of the Salon des Artistes Français in 1889.





[1] Martin Hopkinson, in Print Quarterly, Vol.24, no.1 (Mar., 2007), p.43

[2] Robert J. Banton, The Graphic Art of Eugene Carriere: Symbolism & Technical Innovation, in The Print Collector's Newsletter, Vol. 23, No. 3 (July–August 1992), pp. 90-93

[3] Jane R. Becker, [Last accessed 07.07.2022]

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