Les Grands Boulevards, Paris

by Antoine Blanchard

£15,000

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Blanchard began painting his historical Parisian street scenes in the late 1950s. He paints Paris landmarks many times over in different weather and seasonal states. His most recurrent topics though, are views of the city in cloudy and rainy weather lit up by bright storefronts, with busy streets full of pedestrians.

Blanchard’s work is very similar to that of Édouard Cortés who also depicted Paris through its daily and seasonal changes. However he was not an imitator of Cortés as his work depicts the city from his own point-of-view with his own unique style and brushwork.

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 13.0 x 18.0 in./33.0 x 45.7 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

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Catalogue No: 5722 Categories: ,

Blanchard spent many months painting images of Paris during the 1890s. His cityscapes were meant to be a nostalgic vehicle to the Belle Époque period in Paris. His style of painting echoed the brush strokes of the Impressionists. Like his predecessors, he studied lighting using swift brush strokes and rich colours. In the 1950s, Blanchard’s paintings were sold through agents in the United States. It was around this time that Blanchard adopted his pseudonym. By the 1970s, galleries in the United States and Canada were selling Blanchard’s paintings. In 1979, out of 347 artist entries, Blanchard’s Le Café de la Paix won the Premier Grand Prix at a competition at the Café de la Paix.

Private Collection, United Kingdom

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Antoine Blanchard was the pseudonym of the French painter Marcel Masson, known for his quaint depictions of Parisian streets. He was born on November 15, 1910 in Paris, France and studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Rennes, later enrolling at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. During his studies there, he entered and won a competition for the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1935, earning him the opportunity to travel and live in Italy. Gradually Blanchard began to collect images of 1890s Paris, using his source materials to devote his career to painting the city’s landmarks. His style is characterized by small brushstrokes and bright colors, lending his canvases a shimmering tone.

Among his subjects are notable historic sites such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Moulin Rouge, and the Notre Dame, which he would often repaint under different conditions—such as depicting the customers of the Café de la Paix strolling under sunny skies in one canvas, and scurrying to find shelter from a rain storm in another.

He died in Paris, France on August 10, 1988.

 

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