Henri Regnault French, 1843-1871

Overview

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.

Exhibitions

Salon de Paris, 1869 (Gold Medal), 1870 (Gold Medal for Salomé)

Prix de Rome, 1863, 1864, 1866 (Winner for Thetis Giving the Weapons of Vulcan to Achilles)

Museums and Public Collections

Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois

Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Dahesh Museum, New York

Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper, France

Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

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