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Gustave Boulanger | Summer Breeze, 1887


Gustave Clarence Rodolphe Boulanger (25 April 1824 - October 1888) was a French figure painter known for his classical and Orientalist subjects.
Boulanger was born at Paris in 1824. He studied with Delaroch and Jollivet, and in 1849 took the Prix de Rome. His paintings are prime examples of academic art of the time, particularly history painting.



Boulanger had visited Italy, Greece and North Africa, and his paintings reflect his attention to culturally correct details and skill in rendering the female form.
The recipient of many medals, he became a member of the Institute de France in 1882.


The Classical world

Boulanger would continue to evoke the world of the ancient Greeks and Romans throughout his career. Noting his deep research and attention to detail, one critic called him "a scholar at least as much as a virtuoso".
Many of these paintings are in private collections, and some are known only from written descriptions or from lithographs or other reproductions of the originals.


Orientalist art

Like his friend Gérôme, Boulanger would also paint Orientalist subjects throughout his career, drawing inspiration from his travels in North Africa.

"…Africa had opened up new horizons for him, had stirred in him unforgettable emotions, but had not thrown him into the great current into which Delacroix was to venture and from which, with his marvelous genius, Delacroix was to emerge unharmed. Gustave Boulanger brought back the brilliance of the Orient in his eye rather than in his thought. He dreamed of a quieter Orient, with broad lines, fine types, gently pleated draperies; an Orient with the sky of Greece".
Because museums preferred to collect his Classical subjects, Boulanger's Orientalist works were for a long time less well known, but in the 21st-century art market they are more sought after and bring higher prices. | Source: © Wikipedia