Théodore Chassériau Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions
9-20-1819 El Limón, DOM –10-8-1856 Paris, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Théodore Chassériau was born in El Limón, in the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo now the Dominican Republic. In December 1820 the family left Santo Domingo for Paris, where the youthful Chassériau soon showed precocious drawing skill. He was accepted into the studio of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres in 1830, at eleven years old, and turned into the most loved student of the great classicist, who regarded him as his truest disciple.
After Ingres left Paris in 1834 to become director of the French Academy in Rome, Théodore Chassériau fell under the influence of Eugène Delacroix, whose use of color was an abomination to Ingres. Théodore Chassériau's art has frequently been portrayed as an endeavor to accommodate the elegant classicism of Ingres with the romantic sentimentalism of Delacroix. He first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1836 and was awarded a third-place medal in the classification of history painting. In 1840 Chassériau set out for Rome and met with Ingres, whose bitterness at the direction his student's work was taking prompted a definitive break in their friendship.
In 1846, not long after painting the enormous Ali-Ben-Hamet, Caliph of Constantine and Chief of the Haractas, Followed by his Escort, Théodore Chassériau made his initial outing to Algeria and its Jewish quarter. From sketches made on this and later trips, he painted such subjects as Arab Chiefs Visiting Their Vassals and Jewish Women on a Balcony. A noteworthy late work, The Tepidarium, depicts a large group of women drying themselves after washing, in a design setting enlivened by his trip to Pompeii in 1840.
After a period of weak health, exacerbated by his debilitating work on commissions for mural paintings to decorate the Churches of Saint-Roch and Saint-Philippe-du-Roule, Chassériau died at the young age of 37 in Paris.
His work significantly affected the style of Puvis de Chavannes and Gustave Moreau, and, through those artists' influence, they made an impact on the art of Paul Gauguin and Henri Matisse. The artworks of Théodore Chassériau are today in the Musée d'Orsay, the Musée de Versailles in the Musée du Louvre devoted a room is to him, and renowned art museums around the world.
Art Movement: Romanticism.
Artists Influencing Chassériau: Jean Ingres, Eugene Delacroix.
He Traveled To: Italy, France, Algeria.
Painters Théodore Chassériau Influenced: Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Gustave Moreau, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.