Brussels 1861-1932 Saint-Gilles (Brussels)
A Town View under the Snow - Temps de neige
mixed media on paper marouflé on panel
800 x 910 mm 31.5 x 35.8 in
signed lower left FRANS / GAILLIARD
signed and address of the artist on the back Franz Gailliard / rue D’Ath – 12 / Bruxelles -, titled = Temps de neige = and a label with an inventory number.
Situated: depicted is a view of the Porte de Namur in Brussels
The fountain in honour of major Charles de Brouckère dates from 1866 and was designed by Hendrik Beyaert. The sculptures were executed by PL Dunion and F Fiers. The fountain held its orignal place until 1958. Since 1978 it found a new location at the Square Palfijn in Laeken (Brussels).
Frans Gailliard was a painter of modern life. From the beginning of his career he had success with charming and tumultuous impressions of towns. By his eye for detail, the meticulousness and the spontaneity of a crowd Gailliard never lost contact with reality. His typical Brussels city views show no moralistic accent or humanitarian undertone. He depicted picturesque themes without sentimentalism and only because of their appearance and energy. His sensibility kept him away of any hollow grandeur. The scenes are lively by their composition, colour and light.
Gailliard was a fanatic draughtsman. Until 1914 he was active as a reportage artist for Parisian newspapers and magazines. He considered this graphic oeuvre of equal value, exhibiting it in Berlin, London and Paris. Gailliard also was active as a book illustrator and designed publicity and theatre posters. Gailliard mastered several graphic techniques. His drawings are stylistically and technical remarkably. In c.1890 he introduced tachism in an artwork. By using the jaspis-technique he became typical and subtle gradations of light and shadow. Gailliard made drawings in ink and sanguine, watercolours, pastels and was an accomplished etcher and lithographer. The drawn line always is prominently present. His painted oeuvre shows a relationship with spontaneous sketches by the linear neatness and the objective realism. Even in his divisionism paintings the drawing is important. Typical are the abrupt angular style of drawing – without showing harshness – and his use of shadows. In this way his paintings becomes monumental. The balanced composition makes them stay spontaneous. Gailliard observed the scene as a snapshot, with figures represented backwards and only partly shown.
Frans Gailliard was a virtuoso artist by his technical abilities. His art never was static by the succession of experiments, towards the limitations of impressionism. Gailliards’ early paintings show dark and traditional tonalities. Light becomes more important from c.1890 onwards under influence of impressionism. In the years 1896-1898 Gailliard travelled to Germany, Italy and Algeria. His style evolved into a celebration of light. Characteristic are the green and white chalk tonalities and the play of nuanced shadows. Especially a stay in Rome in 1898 made him no longer depict a theme, but the countless graduations of light. Gailliard was never lost in atmosphere. He went beyond impressionism – which only rendered atmospheric light – and adapted traditional values as composition, style, line and emotion at the sensibilities of new aesthetics. The interaction between light and colours created a feeling of space, sometimes brutalizing the luminosity of the atmosphere. Gailliard was using daring expressive tonalities of red and blue and their complementary colours. In other paintings he deliberately used cool tonalities of whites, grey and blue – in combination with small patches of warm colours like purple, pink and orange. In the years 1905-1915 he painted with a divided touch. After having made a long trip to Greece in 1909 he had a one-man-show in Brussels in February 1910. The classical architectural vedute on display had success in the whole of Europe. Gailliard also enriched the themes of impressionism with the architectural grandeur of Rome and Paris. Gailliards’ dreamy park scenes show a relationship with his silent, classical ruins from Greece. The serenity of nature is stressed by the shadows and the reflections in the water, almost neglecting human presence. From 1911 to 1919 Gailliard was working in a personal neo-impressionism. He never was an outspoken adapt of the movement. The line stayed important and pointillism only was used to enhance form and mood of the painting. Frans Gailliard pushed neo-impressionism to its limits, making luminism an academic tradition.
François Désiré Antoine was a pupil of Jan Portaels, Joseph Stallaert, François Bossuet and Paul Lauters at the Brussels academy from 1873 until 1881, together with artists like James Ensor, Léon Frédéric and Fernand Khnopff. He became a pupil of Gérôme’s atelier and stayed in Paris from 1882 until 1891. Later in his life he travelled to Holland (1896), made four trips to Rome, a long journey into Greece (1909; in the company of his son and pupil Jean-Jacques Gailliard) and Germany (1912; invited by the magazine Der Sturm). Because of his profession as a journalist-draughtsman he frequently resided in major European cities. He did meet the important artists of the day and got befriended with Gauguin, Manet, Raffaëlli and Renoir. Gailliard knew a happy family-life and parted his time between Brussels and Ostend. He did have a studio and salon at the Rue royale 41 in Brussels. In the same building were the studios of Frans Courtens (1881-1884), Armand Apol, Alfred Bastien, Edgard Tytgat and the architect Léon Snyers. His neighbours were art critics like Paul Lambotte, Lequime and Félicien Rops’ publisher Henri Kistemaekers. Downstairs was the gallery of art dealer Emile-Joseph De Pachtere (1827-1890) who exhibited work by e.g. Edouard Agneessens, Gisbert Combaz, Adolphe Crespin, Julien Dillens, Louis Dubois, James Ensor, Henri Evenepoel, Franz Gailliard, Emile Hoeterickx, Privat Livemont, Félicien Rops and Théo Van Rysselberghe. It was succeeded by the famous Compagnie Japonaise of Mitsui which – next to Japanese art – also imported Liberty’s of London. A whole range of young artists like Henry Van de Velde constantly visited the premises, admiring products of the Arts & Crafts movement.
Frans Gailliard was an educated man who already at a young age did regularly meet Victor Hugo. Later on musicians like Eugène Ysaye, art critics as Emile Verhaeren, Camille Lemonnier and Edmond Picard and artists like Amédée Lynen, Henry Degroux, Ernest Slingeneyer and members of Les XX were regular guests of his salon. Gailliard acted as an intermediary between artistic circles of Paris and Berlin. Remarkable guests were Joséphin Péladan in 1909 and James McNeill Whistler when he exhibited with Les XX. He was guided by Gailliard at his wanderings through Brussels in 1887, sketching side by side in the Marolles quarter.
Frans Gailliard was a member of the Société Royale des Aquarellistes et Pastellistes, Pour l’Art, De Vrije Kunst and the Société Royale des Aquafortistes. Gailliard was a teacher and became director of the academy of Saint-Gilles. Emile Hoeterickx and Wilchar were among his pupils.
Frans Gailliard regularly participated from 1881 until 1930 at salons in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Berlin, Bonn, Brighton, Bruges, Brussels, Budapest, Buenos-Aires, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Gent, Ypres, Köln, Kortrijk, Liège, Lille, London, Mechelen, Mons, München, Namur, Nice, Ostend, Paris (1882-1891), Reims, Rome, Rotterdam, Spa and Viena. His oeuvre was exhibited at the World Exhibitions of Antwerp (1885 & 1894), Berlin (1896), Brussels (1897 & 1935), Chicago (1893), Paris (1889) and at the Venice Bienal (1907 & 1909). Retrospective exhibitions were organised in Brussels (Cercle Artistique (1900, 1907 & 1910), Galerie Sneyers (1918), Galerie du Studio (1925 & 1927) and in 1942 (graphic works), 1957 (Hôtel de Ville Saint-Gilles) and 1982 (Musée Horta).
Museums: Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels; Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium – Drawing room, Brussels; Bibliothèque Royale Albert l, Brussels; Collection of the Belgian State, Brussels; Collection of the Administration of Fine Arts, Brussels; Collection of the Foreign Office, Brussels; Royal Collection, Brussels; Collection of the Province of Brabant, Brussels; City Museum - Maison du Roi, Brussels; Museum Charlier, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode (Brussels); Collection of the City – Town Hall, Saint-Gilles (Brussels); City Museum, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean (Brussels); Maison des Arts, Schaerbeek (Brussels); City Museum, Ixelles (Brussels); Musée Maison Camille Lemonnier - Maison des Ecrivains, Ixelles (Bruxelles); Collection of the City – Town Hall, Dinant; Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Liège; Museum of Fine Arts, Ostend; Church of St Paul, Opwijk; City Museum, Spa; City Museum Taxandria, Turnhout
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