The acclaimed history painter and sculptor, Ernest Meissonier (1815 - 1891) considered Henri Regnault to be the future of French art. With a reputation as a genius, Regnault was considered by many to be "the greatest French painter of his generation." Recipient of the esteemed Prix de Rome prize Regnault has masterfully crafted a naturalistic French country landscape that approaches a panorama view, while eschewing any sense of idealism formerly espoused. The rural rich terrain has been formally delineated, albeit with a softness that is pleasing to the viewer, thus striking a balance between the idealistic landscapes in the tradition of Poussin and the direct observation of nature espoused by the Barbizon painters.
Regnault was also hailed as a great portraitist. His painting of Salomé earned him a Gold Medal at the Salon de Paris in 1870. Sadly his life was cut short on the battlefield during a war between France and Prussia, while he was defending the city of Paris. Only twenty-seven when he died, Regnault left sixty-five oil paintings, forty-five water colors, nearly two hundred sketches, and a reputation as a genius - the greatest French painter of his generation.
Private Colleciton, Greenwich, CT