Rouault, Georges (-Henri)

Rouault, Georges (-Henri)

biographical name

(born May 27, 1871, Paris, Fr.—died Feb. 13, 1958, Paris) French painter. His apprenticeship in a glazier's shop restoring medieval stained glass (1885–90) influenced his mature style as a painter. After an early academic period, his style evolved toward Fauvism before he established a highly personal form of Expressionism. An ardent Roman Catholic, he painted subjects apparently fallen from grace—prostitutes, tragic clowns, and pitiless judges. After 1914 his subject matter became more specifically religious, with greater emphasis on redemption, and he shifted from watercolour to oil. His layers of paint became thick and rich, his forms simplified, and his colours and black lines reminiscent of stained glass. In the 1930s he produced a splendid series on Christ's Passion, while reworking many earlier paintings. His series of clowns in the 1940s are virtual self-portraits. He also produced many engravings as well as ceramics, tapestry designs, and stained glass.

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