Eugène Henri Cauchois French, 1850-1911


The Flemish idiom of flower painting during the first decades of the 19th century combined meticulous draftsmanship enhanced by life-like colors. This style never quite lost its appeal as the 19th century progressed, especially in France, but by the mid-19th century, one can see the emergence of a new variety of flower painters liberated from the realistic botanical approach of their traditional forerunners. Albeit a brief period, French flower painting reached a pinnacle of excellence before the Impressionists' emphasis on decomposition of light or the ruthlessly synthetic approach of many of the other movements such as the Nabis at the turn of the century overwhelmed the market.


As the century progressed, particularly the French School favored a more casual placement of an artful entanglement of garden flowers along a ledge or on the ground. This required great skill to execute and was extremely popular in the 1860's. For the first time in memory, flowers in a more natural setting did not carry the heavy burden of specific botanical or allegorical associations and esoteric language that had been de rigeur in previous centuries. In addition, the gradual loosening up of the brushwork gave the finished work a more lifelike feeling. Until the emergence of Impressionism and the Fauve and Art Nouveau movement in the early 20th century, floral arrangement paintings of this period held center stage and have not been equaled since.



Salon 1874

Sociétaire des Artistes Français 1890 (Third place medal, 1898, Bronze medal, 1900, Second place medal, 1904)

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