Guillaume Seignac Biography | Oil Paintings
7-1870 Rennes, FRA – 1-16-1924 Paris, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Guillaume Seignac spent the years 1889 through 1895 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, under the tutelage of William Bouguereau, Tony Robert-Fleury, and Gabriel Ferrier. They nurtured his appreciation for traditional subject matter based on the seventeenth-century French artist Nicolas Poussin as well as the Neo-Classicists of the early nineteenth century. As with most Academically trained painters, Guillaume Seignac’s skills at drawing the human figure was highly prized, in addition to understanding the composition of Italian Renaissance art.
In Seignac’s painting, there is also a fascination with the contrapposto poses typical of the figures in Michelangelo’s ceiling fresco which allows Guillaume Seignac to create a more dynamic composition using a singular figure.
The same type of attention to a classical standard may be seen in Seignac’s handling of transparent drapery. Whether depicting a modest woman in a Greek-styled garment or a semi-nude nymph, Seignac utilizes drapery to uncover the body underneath the texture.
Seignac’s career flourished in the midst of the turbulent end of the century art world of Paris, an environment that nourished a wealth of artistic developments from the commercial poster art of Toulouse-Lautrec to the private abstractions of Bonnard and Vuillard to the ever-popular paintings of Jules Breton.
Beginning in 1897, Guillaume Seignac was a regular exhibitor at the Salon des Artistes Françaises, winning an honorable mention in 1900, and in 1903, a Third Class medal.
Guillaume Seignac’s paintings of allegorical subjects with classical references were especially popular with American audiences, both before the war and in the 1920s. Paintings depicting domestic subjects were most sought after during the 1950s and 60s, while Seignac’s idealized nudes began attracting market attention in the 1970s and later. Since the 1990s Seignac’s work has enjoyed a notable resurgence of interest.
On a separate note, the 1914 Seignac oil painting La Belgique, we think it poignant in view of the terror attacks that happened in 2016 in Belgium, France, and England. This painting, painted at the onset of World War I, is just as current now, showing France in the middle, scared, surrounded, comforted and protected by Belgium on the left and UK on the right, although they were also hit by terrorist attacks.
Art Movement: Academic Art.
Artists Influencing Guillaume Seignac: Gabriel Ferrier, Tony Robert-Fleury, William Bouguereau.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.