La Fantaisie

Fantasy

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, La Fantaisie (The Fantasy), date unknown

Puvis de Chavannes was born in Lyon, France in 1824 and decided to become a painter after a trip to Italy in 1846. Puvis de Chavannes is best known for his paintings; yet, his pen and ink drawings are also important.

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Marie-Denise Villers, Young Woman Drawing, 1801

Little is known about the life and history of Villers. However, it is known that she was a neoclassic artist specializing in portraits of women and girls. Her work and timeline most closely align with the neoclassic movement of art history in which artists and sculptors draw inspiration from that of Ancient Greece or Rome. Consider the girl’s dress in the photograph above – reminiscent of garments worn in ancient times.

Image released into public domain.

(source: http://www.wikimedia.org)

Sophie Anderson, Birdsong, 1881

Anderson was born in France but spent most of her artistic career in England. She specialized in genre painting, particularly that of women and children in rural or natural settings. Her work and timeline most closely align with the neoclassic movement of art history in which artists and sculptors draw inspiration from that of Ancient Greece or Rome. For example, the gowns in Birdsong are reminiscent of of the tunic-like garments worn by women in ancient times.

Charles Cottet, Low Mass in Winter, date unknown

Charles Cottet is a French Impressionist active in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His work most often features dark, solemn scenes of rural conservative Brittany, a region in northern France. Low Mass in Winter is evocative and exemplifies Cottet’s style: dark figures against foggy often indiscerptible backgrounds.

Henri Rousseau, Carnival Evening, 1885

Rousseau is best known for his Impressionistic paintings that are often rendered in what is called Primitive or Native style. Here Rousseau depicts two small unmoving figures in what appears to be carnival dress. The background is stark in comparison to their white garb – the black trees, trunks, and branches offer a deep contrast to the figures in the foreground. The sun appears to be lowering in the sky, offering a suspension in time between dusk and the dark chill of night.