Friday, November 01, 2013

Arty Farty Friday ~ All Saints' and All Fashions by Friant & Gervex

A single painting, chosen for a reason, from each of two French artists of the 19th century. Émile Friant and Henri Gervex - two gifted painters mostly forgotten now, amid the glut of other French and European artists of that era, possibly sidelined too due to their more traditional mode, as new techniques and styles began to emerge everywhere at that time.

This painting, by Émile Friant (16 April 1863 – 9 June 1932) is chosen to mark the day: 1 November, All Saints' Day, in France, La Toussaint.

(Click on image for bigger version.)
 La Toussaint

This (below), by Henri Gervex (10 December 1852 – 7 June 1929) attracted me because it reminds me of a current PBS TV drama series, screened Sunday evenings. The drama titled The Paradise, an adaptation of Émile Zola's novel, Au Bonheur des Dames, relocates the story from France to a Victorian fashion store North East England. Gervex's painting portrays a fashion designer's salon rather than a fashion store, but it does have the same "feel". The painting's title Cinq Heures Chez Paquin can be translated as 5 o'clock at Paquin's Salon, though some sources have it as "5 hours at Paquin's". I suspect 5 hours' shopping would be too much for any mortal, especially wearing those voluminous gowns!

Click on it for a bigger version
Cinq Heures Chez Paquin

Henri Gervex blotted his metaphorical copybook at one point in his career with a painting titled Rolla (1878), based on a poem by Alfred de Musset. It shows a prostitute and her client. The painting was rejected by a jury of the Salon de Paris for its immorality, but lent its painter a certain amount of notoriety in the city. See here - scroll down.


mike said...

Beautiful paintings, Twilight! I particularly like Gervex' paintings shown in the link you provided. I would so much enjoy having my walls filled with many of the painters you've showcased in your Arty Farty Friday posts. And I agree that the painting of ladies in a salon is similar to scenes from "The Paradise", except that "Paradise" seems so lush and rich when inside the building.

I tuned-in to PBS, more by accident...never intending to actually watch "The Paradise" series, but I became instantly hooked and I'm not a bit sorry. I look forward to each week's episode.

I just cheated by going to the Wiki link you provided and I read the coming episodes' plots. I'm not sure which is better...knowing or not knowing the coming attractions! And it's incomplete...only info up to Series 2, episode 2. Either way, I am addicted and it's become the highlight of my Sunday evenings. I was relieved to see that Katherine Glendenning doesn't get John least not up to Series 2, episode 2.

I should add that I managed to avoid the "Downton Abbey" series for fear of addiction.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Oh - good to know you're watching "The Paradise" too! We stumbled on it accidentally also, fortunately right at the start of episode 1.

Before I investigated Wiki I'd had it down as being adapted from a novel by a very popular English noveslist whose books are nearly always set in the North East of England (as "The Paradise" is) -
the late Catherine Cookson.
I read several of her novels years ago. I was very surprised to find that it is actually adapted from a French novel.

I've cheated at Wiki too - but it doesn't spoil enjoyment.

The actress playing Miss Audrey, Sarah Lancashire, used to be in a well-loved (almost national treasure of TV) English soap opera, "Coronation Street" when she was much younger - just a gal in fact, she played the barmaid of the local pub. She's so good in whatever she does!

I refuse to watch "Downton Abbey", danged aristocracy!
;-) Its writer/creator gets on my last nerve.