Gennaro Befanio was born in Naples, Italy to French parents. We believe that he lived there until he was in his late teens to early 20’s before moving to Paris. He studied in Naples under the guidance of Fillippo Palazzi (Italian, 1818-1899) at the Institut Napolitain des Beaux-Arts. Palazzi was later the President of the Beaux-Arts in Naples.
A painter of genre and of portraits, Befanio was a modern painter whose paintings were executed in an impressionist manner of a light palette combined with loose brushwork. His subject matter of choice was women and nudes by windows or stylish views of Paris such as we have here. He first began exhibiting in Paris in 1904 and thereafter at the Salon des Artistes Français where he received an honorable mention for the quality of the works he exhibited. In 1909, Befanio received a second class prize and the title Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur sometime shortly after 1920.
Beyond the twin towers marking the entrance to the Place du Carousel is where Befanio has set up his easel to paint this view. The Pavillon de Marsan, one of the twin towers cuts off the south side of the Louvre creating a closed in feeling. What is created is an intimate garden/park where visitors of the Louvre and pedestrians can enjoy the elegant architecture and gardens before going inside to stroll the wondrous galleries of the museum. This view was a favorite of the early Impressionists many decades preceding Befanio and it is re-explored time and time again by artists in Paris.
Greenwich Gallery, Greenwich, Connecticut
Private Collection, New Canaan, Connecticut