Nymphe se baignant au crépuscule

by Émile-René Ménard

£18,000

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 28.3 x 36.8 ins/ 72.0 x 93.5 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘E. R. Ménard’ lower left
MEDIUM: Pastel

Catalogue No: 4984 Categories: ,

This fantastical scene is the epitome of the artist’s oeuvre- A nymph bathing herself in the light of dusk. Émile- René Ménard was a great admirer of Ancient Greece and the classical world, having been immersed from a young age in an artistic environment, with the likes of Corot and the Barbizon painters frequenting his home, familiarising him with antique subjects. He became fascinated by humanist themes, especially nymphs, mythological spirits of nature imagined as a beautiful maiden inhabiting rivers, woods, or other locations.

Ménard’s pastel technique where he would scratch onto the canvas to reveal the layer underneath emphasises the ethereal and nostalgic ambience whilst adding a dreamlike quality to the work.

In Nymphe se baignant au crépuscule the viewer can see what Victor Shoe meant when he described Ménard’s work as “visions of a pacified, bathed nature, of dawn and of twilight, where the soul seems to immerse itself in the innocence of daybreak, and breathe the divine anointment that comes with the dawn.”(as quoted in Jean-David Jumeau-Lafond, Les Peintres de l’Âme: le Symbolisme Idealiste en France, exhibition catalog, Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels, October 15 – December 1999)

Provenance

Private Collection, France;
Private Collection, United Kingdom

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Biography

Émile-René Ménard (1862–1930) was a French painter born in Paris. From 1880 studied at the Académie Julian after having been a student of Baudry, Bouguereau, and Henri Lehmann. He participated in the Salon of the Secession in Munich, and the Salon de la Libre Esthétique in Brussels during 1897. Several personal exhibitions were also devoted to him at the Georges Small Gallery. In 1904, he was appointed professor at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and in that year welcomed the rising young Russian painter Boris Kustodiev, age 26, in his art studio. In 1921, he exhibited in the Twelfth Salon along with Henri Martin and Edmond Aman-Jean. Galleries in Buffalo, New York and Boston, Massachusetts exposed Ménard and his art to the United States. However, the numerous commissions that Ménard received from the French government crowned his career; such as the cycle for the Hautes Études à la Sorbonne, the Faculté de Droit, and the fresco Atoms for the Chemistry institute, and finally the Caise des Dépôts in Marseilles.

 

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