Cupid and Psyche

by Guillaume Seignac


DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 31.9 x 39.3 inches (81 x 99.8 cm)
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘G-SEIGNAC’ (lower left)
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas



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    Seignac specialized in allegorical subjects and mythological figures from antiquity; idealized female nudes based on Greek and Roman prototypes were a perennial favourite. Frequently, Seignac’s paintings depict an allegorical female figure embodying an abstract concept such as “meditation” or “reverie,” usually in a setting that showcases a lush landscape furnished with Greek urns, ancient Roman fountains or Pompeian benches. Alongside his technical skills, he also expressed a fascination with the contrapposto poses which originated with Ancient Greeks, and seemed to take direct inspiration from Michelangelo’s exploration of this in the Sistine Chapel ceiling fresco.

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    Guillaume Seignac was born in 1870 in Rennes. He undertook his training at the Académie Julian in Paris from 1889 to 1895, and this academic schooling influenced his work heavily, along with classical styles and themes. Shortly after his training ended, from 1897 Seignac regularly exhibited at the Salon and won several honours. This included a 1900 honourable mention, and a Third Class medal in 1903.

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