Adolphe Alexandre Lesrel France

5-19-1839 Genet, FRA - 2-25-1929 Genet, FRA

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Lesrel, Adolphe Alexandre

French artist Adolphe Alexandre Lesrel is considered by many to be one of France's elite genre painters. Lustrous fabrics, exquisite interiors and, of course, dashing cavaliers were Lesrel's specialty and his genius lay in his ability to render them with extraordinary detail and vibrancy of both color and light.

Adolphe Alexandre Lesrel developed a style based on his study of the works of contemporary French painter Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier as well as 17th-century Dutch masters such as Rembrandt. Lesrel's compositions are characterized by his excruciating attention to the details of his subject's dress and surroundings.

Cardinals and elegant ladies all found a place in his work but it was his dramatic cavaliers who captured the imagination of his admirers and patrons and elevated him to the upper echelons of French and English art societies. His paintings proved popular as they coincided with a contemporary nostalgic fascination with French history, a testament to which is the near-contemporary publication of famed French author Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers.

Adolphe Alexandre Lesrel was twenty-two when he began his studies with the academic painter, Jean-Léon Gérôme. Like many aspiring painters, he hoped to follow in Gérôme’s footsteps as a history painter of scenes from ancient Greece and Rome. In particular, Lesrel was fascinated with the work Meissonier, whose meticulous, detailed historical subjects were beginning to redefine history painting as a form of documentary art.

After several years of study with Gérôme, and later with Meissonier, Adolphe Alexandre Lesrel made his Salon debut in 1865, launching a career that would bring him recognition and economic security for many years.

Lesrel exhibited regularly throughout his career and won an honorable mention at the prestigious Paris Salon in 1889. He became a member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1890.

Art Movement: Academic
Influences: Jean-Léon Gérôme, Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier, Rembrandt

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