Eugène Carrière  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Eugène Anatole Carrière (January 16, 1849 – March 27, 1906) was a French Symbolist artist of the Fin de siècle period. His work is best known for its brown monochrome palette. He was a close friend of the sculptor Rodin and his work influenced Matisse and Picasso. (Some see traces of Carrière's monochrome style in Picasso's Blue Period).

He was born at Gournay-sur-Marne (Seine-Saint-Denis). He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and later under Cabanel. During the Franco-Prussian War he passed some time as a prisoner in Dresden, where the art of Rubens made a lasting impression on him, as may be seen in the glowing colors of his earlier pictures. About 1890 he adopted the gray, misty color scheme with contrasts of light and shadow, so characteristic of his art, but which no other artist has been able to imitate without affectation. His themes are usually scenes of his own domestic life, and he repeatedly introduced the likeness of his wife. The first of these, "The Young Mother" (1879), is now in the Museum of Avignon. It was followed by "The Sick Child" (Montargis), "The First Communion" (Toulon), and the excellent portrait of the sculptor Devillez.

Carrière was one of the leaders in the secessionist movement, which led to the founding of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. At the Société, Carrière exhibited, among other works, "Sleep" (1890), the celebrated portrait of Paul Verlaine (1891, Luxembourg), "Maternity" (1892, Luxembourg), "Christ on the Cross" (1897). and "Madame Menard-Dorian" (1906). He also modeled a monument to Verlaine in the style of Rodin, and wrote gracefully and interestingly on art subjects. Several of his works can be found at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

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