George Clausen England

4-18-1852 London, ENG – 11-22-1944 Newbury, ENG

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Clausen, George

Sir George Clausen RA English artist working in oil and watercolor, etching, mezzotint, dry point and occasionally lithographs. He was knighted in 1927. His work was influenced by French plein-air painting. He was particularly interested in effects of light, often showing figures set against the sun, but he always retained a sense of solidity of form.

George Clausen was the son of a decorative painter of Danish descent. From 1867 to 1873, he attended the design classes at the South Kensington Schools in London with great success. He then worked in the studio of Edwin George-Clausen RA, and subsequently in Paris under Bouguereau and Robert-Fleury. He was an admirer of the naturalism of the painter Jules Bastien-Lepage; about whom he wrote in 1888 and 1892.

George Clausen became one of the foremost modern painters of landscape and of peasant life, influenced to a certain extent by the impressionists, with whom he shared the view that light is the real subject of landscape art. His pictures excel in rendering the appearance of things under flecking outdoor sunlight, or in the shady shelter of a barn or stable. His Girl at the Gate is now at the Tate Gallery.

From the 1890s he developed this process through to its own personal style, with influences of impressionism and luminism, particularly in its emphasis on atmospheric light. He worked with square brush and dry paints, made for a pastel-like appearance.

In 1895 George Clausen was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy, and a full Academician in 1906. As Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy he gave a memorable series of lectures to the students of the Schools, published as Six Lectures on Painting (1904) and Aims and Ideals in Art (1906). Clausen was an official war artist during World War I.

Art Movement: Impressionism
Influences: Adolphe Bouguereau, Robert-Fleury, George Clausen, Edwin Long
Traveled: France, Netherlands, Belgium
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