Carolus Duran (France, 1837-1917)



Figure 1.-- This is Carolus-Duran's daughtr Marie-Anne who he painted in 1876. By this time the artist was a well-respected Paris portrait painter. Notice the girl's socks. Anmerican girls at this time virtually always wore long stockings. Notice the little dog with a blue bow.

Charles Auguste Émile Durand took the name Carolus-Duran as it seemed more stylish for his high spciety clientele. Carolus-Duran was born in Lille (1837). He studied at the provincial Lille Academy and then at then at the the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Like other painters, he traveled to Italy to study the great msters (1861). He also went to Spain where he ws memerized with Velázquez. The dramatic "Murdered/Assassination" was one of his first real (1866). Most of his work is portraits. He is primarily renmembered for his beautuifully rendered, stilized portraits of the members of the high society duruing the French Third Republic. This included a few children and family groupings. He was called “The Prince of Color” by another Third Republic artist Toulouse-Lautrec. His portraits have been described as a mixture of French high-society and Spanish realism. His studio was one of the most popular in Paris and there he trained some of the most important rising artists of the next generation, among them the American John Singer Sargent. Sargent followed his mentor Duran in painting high scociety portraits and most believe surpassed him. The best portrait of Duran is painted by Sargent. Duran was one of the most respected academic artists of the era, but as this was also the period in which impressionism rose, he is not as well known today as he was in France during his life time. He painted his clients in aealistic, albeit styilized way. Informally he experimented more. He was elected a commander of the Legion of Honour (1889). He helped created the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts (1890). He entered the Académie des Beaux-Arts (1904).

Parents

Duran came from a humble family, although we do not yet have details.

Childhood

Charles Auguste Émile Durand was born in Lille (1837). We know little about his childhood at this gtime.

Education

Charles began to study at the provincial Lille Academy when he was 11 years old. Sculptor Augustin-Phidias Cadet at the Academy de Beaupre taught Charles how to sketch. He did a 2-year apprenticeship at the age of 15-16 years in the studio of a former pupils of David--Francois Souchon (1787–1857). Souchon had a major impact on Duran. was noted for producing copies of master works. Souchon taught him to study the old masters as the best way to learn to paint. He reached Paris where he began studying at the Academie Suisse (1853). At this time he met Fantin-Latour, Courbet, Manet, and Monet. He would later paint their portraits. Duran next began to study at the the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He won a prize (1861). This gave him the money to, like other painters, traveled to Italy and Belgium and study the great maters. He also went to Spain where he was memerized with Velázquez.

Family

Duran married Pauiline Croizette. We know nothing about her or their family life. He did paint an elegant portrait of her in 1869--'Lady with a glove'. They had two daughters and a son. The girls were Sabine and Marie-Anne. Here we see Marie-Anne in 1876. As far as we know, he did not paint Sabine as a child. He did paint her as an adult, 'La dame en gris' in 189? (the portrait is indistinctly dated). His son's name was Charles Emile. We have not yet found aortrait of him as a child. As far as we know, Duran never painted a portrait of his young family in the 1870s, at least we have not found one. We have found a famiky portrait larer in life with the grandchildren that he also painted separately. YThey are usually easy to identify because he usually painrd a script ion them and date.

Career

The dramatic "Murdered/Assassination" was one of his first real (1866). With this and other successes success he opened a studio in Paris (1872). Most of his work is portraits. He is primarily renmembered for his beautuifully rendered, stilized portraits of the members of the high society duruing the French Third Republic. He Lainized his name, becoming Carolus-Duran. This was done to create a more stylish image for his high society clientele. He was called “The Prince of Color” by another Third Republic artist Toulouse-Lautrec. He also traveled to America (1898). There he painted portraits of several wealthy clients.

Style

His portraits have been described as a mixture of French high-society and Spanish realism. Duran was one of the most respected academic artists of the era, but as this was also the period in which impressionism rose, he is not as well known today as he was in France during his life time. He painted his clients in a realistic, albeit styilized way. Informally he experimented more.

Individual Works

Duran's portraits included a few children and family groupings. The ones we have found so far include:

George Feydeau (1870)

This is the portrait of George Feydeau (1862-1921) as an 8-year old boy about 1870. The painting is known as L'enfant a la cravate blue'--the child with the blue scarf. George wears a black velvet cap and outfit and pointed white collar. It is not an Eton collar, but similar. He has a bright blue bow. It is a small-sized bow which was still common in the 1870s. Most notable id George's long hair. As was common in France, it is uncurled. George was to become a leading French Playwright. He married married Marianne Carolus-Duran, a daughter of Carolus-Duran who by this time was wealthy (1889). Feydeau's plays were noted for comical farce. He developed a propensity for the high life. He had a table permanently reserved for him at Maxim's. He also lost large sums gambling. This and the failure of his marriage led to financial difficulties.

Marie-Anne Carolus-Duran (1876)

Here we see the artist's daughter Marie-Anne (figure 1). It is not a very good image so we cant't tell much about her dark dress. Notice the girl's socks. Anmerican girls at this time virtually always wore long stockings. Emile has grey three-quarter socks with dark stripes.

Princess Marguerite de Broglie and her Cousin Robert (1890)

This portrait is of Princess Marguerite de Broglie and her cousin Robert. It was painted in 1890. The artist is Carolus Duran (1837-1917). Carolus-Duran was the clasical-styled name French painter Charles Auguste Émile Durand used. Marguerite was the daughter of Albert de Broglie, who was a prime minister. The title of Duc de Broglie was a peerage belonging to a family of Piedmontese (Italian). The family emigrated to France (1643). The founder of the family, François-Marie, was a soldier. He adopted the title of comte de Broglie in France. His grandson, also named François-Marie, was created duc de Broglie and a peer of France (1742). Junior members of the family use the the title prince de Broglie. The genealogical tree including marshals (military commanders), writers, a 'President du Conseil' (Prime Minister) and a Nobel prize-winning scientist. We're not sure about Robert's last name. He wears a black velvet jacket and contrasting vest (waistcoat) with what looks like a kilt skirt. I think it has a tartan patter, but it is a little hard to tell. He has a small lace collar which is shaped like an Eton collar. Princess Marguerite wears a blue velvet dress. The children are clearly European. An American boy would have never worn three-quarter socks like this, but always long stockings. Robert has long, but uncurled hair.

Madame Feydeau and her Children (1897)

This charming family group shows Madame Feydeau and her two young children. Duran painted them in 1897. The children look to be about 4-6 years old. Although spelled differently in many English-language internet posts, we think that Madame Faydou is really Madame Feydeau, the wife of George Feydeau, the child with the blue scarfe which Duran painted in 1870. She was also Duran's daughter. She was clearly an elegant, wealthy lady. The boy looks to be wearing a Fauntleroy suit and lace collar with bloomer knickers and dark socks. His slightly older sister wears an elaborate long dress whichh looks to be done in silver satin. Note the baloon sleeves which Madame Faydou also has, a fashionable dress style at the time which is useful in dating images.

Michel Feydeau (1905)

Michel Feydeau was the son of author George Feydeau and Marie-Anne Carolus-Duran, the daughter of artist Carolus-Duran. He was born about 1900. His grandfather painted his portrait in 1905. He is known as the 'L'enfant au chapeau rouge'--boy in the red hat. Michel was born a few years after the portrait of Madame Feydeau and her twon older children was painted in 1897. Michel wears a large bright red hat with a large white collar. We are not sure what the cream-colored garment was. Notice this boy is wearing his Baptismal chain, that began to be very common in France during the early-20th century. We know nothing about Michael's life. His parents were having marital difficulties and separated a few years after this portrait was painted. We notice a popular Briish actor namd Michael Feydeau. We do not know if they are related.

Artelier

His studio was one of the most popular in Paris. Young French atists were drawn to his atelier as a result of his popularity. He also attracted some notable expatriate artists who were resisted the traditional controlled training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. They found a more stumulating environment in Duran's atelier. Duran may have been more imprtant as an art teacher than an actial artist, although the images he left us from the Third Republuc are very important. He trained some of the most important rising artists of the next generation, among them the American John Singer Sargent. The young Sargent became atar pupil and eventually close friend. Sargent followed his mentor Duran in painting high scociety portraits and most believe surpassed him. The best portrait of Duran himself was painted by Sargent.

Honors

Carolus-Duran was a founding member of the Société Nationale He was named a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor (1872) and a commander of the Legion of Honour (1889). He helped created the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts (1890) and became its president (1898). He entered the Académie des Beaux-Arts (1904).

Lille Museum

All the family portraits except that of Georges, are named and signed by the artist. They are all housed in the Palais des Beaux Arts in Lille which was the artist's home town before he moved to paris.







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Created: 7:22 PM 6/16/2011
Last updated: 5:15 PM 6/19/2011