Georges Croegaert Belgium

10-7-1848 Antwerp, BEL– 1-16-1923 Paris, FRA

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Croegaert, Georges

Georges Croegaert studied at the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts. He moved to Paris in 1876 where he remained active as an artist for the rest of his life. He had a successful career as a portrait and genre painter. His paintings received critical acclaim and were sought after by English and American collectors. He exhibited regularly at the Paris Salon between 1882 and 1914 and in Vienna in 1888.

Georges Croegaert painted initially highly detailed still lifes, bird and flower subjects and occasional outdoor genre scenes. He built a career with his salon portraits of glamorous young women dressed in sumptuous fabrics set in luxurious rooms. He also gained a reputation as the leading artist in the genre of ‘cardinal paintings’, humorous representations of cardinals engaged in various mundane activities in lavish surroundings.

When he arrived in Paris portrait paintings depicting the lifestyle of contemporary, fashionable city dwellers had become popular. The trend was started in Paris in the late 1850s by the Belgian painter Alfred Stevens and was then adopted by other Belgian painters working in Paris. By the late 1860s there was a ready market for genre scenes with bourgeois figures.

With the onset of the Belle Epoque in the 1870s, this type of paintings depicting fashionable women set in an interior became popular at the Paris Salon. The highly realistic depictions of Croegaert of society women have usually a slightly ironic undertone.

In the last decades of the nineteenth century Georges Croegaert painted a series of small portraits of women rendered in a highly realistic manner.

Possibly looking for a lucrative niche in the market, Georges Croegaert started to paint ‘cardinal paintings’, sometimes also referred to as ‘anti-clerical art’. These paintings depict Roman Catholic cardinals in a sumptuous setting typically engaging in some banal activity.

By depicting cardinals participating in activities such as ‘approving the artist’s nude model', card games, excessive or sumptuous eating and drinking and indulgent pastimes such as philately and painting, these painters poked fun at the excessive and sometimes debauched lifestyles of the upper echelons of the Catholic clergy.

Art Movement: Academic
Influences: Jan Jacob Croegaert-Van Bree
Traveled: France, Austria
From Wikipedia

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