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Judith, meet Bacchus

27 Feb

There is more here than meets the eye. More pursuit of freedom and ecstasy.

Judith () Alexis Grimou

Alexis Grimou (1678-1733), “Judith with the Head of Holofernes,” oil on canvas, 88 x 72 cm, Museum of King John III’s Palace at Wilanów, Warsaw, PL

 

This is a Judith by Alexis Grimou, a French painter who taught himself to paint by copying works of Van Dyck and Rembrandt.  According the to font of all knowledge, Wikipedia: “He painted mainly spirited portraits or portrait scenes, such as women singing and playing musical instruments. He was admitted to the Academy of Paris in 1705, but resigned complaining about the mediocrity of his peers.”  I imagine that observation made him a less-than-popular-guy.  Actually the French Wikipedia says “but his conduct, together with the insolence did off the list in 1709.”  Yes, a slightly different story.  It seems the truth is somewhere in between according to another source: “Although instructed by the Académie to paint as his morceaux de réception portraits of the sculptor Jean Raon (1630-1707) and the painter Antoine Coypel, he failed to present either picture and in 1709 the agrément was annulled.”

But he seems to have enjoyed himself in the ensuing years, as revealed in his self-portraits.  His style is described as “earthy” and harkens back to the Dutch Golden Age for portraits that defied the ascendent French classicism of the Academy.  Amidst this freedom of style, it is curious that he would have selected Judith as a theme – so it is likely this is a commissioned portrait in which the client selected Judith as a historical character to portray.  However, she looks a little uncomfortable with her role – too bad she did not join in the drinking.

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Alexis Grimou (1680-1733), “Toper,” Oil on canvas. 101 x 81 cm, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusettes, USA

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Alexis Grimou (1680-1733), “Toper,” Oil on canvas. 116.5 x 89.5 cm, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Autoportrait_1728_(Dijon,_musée_Magnin)

Alexis Grimou (1680-1733), “Bacchus Self-Portrait,” 1728, Oil on canvas, 101 × 81 cm, Musée Magnin, Dijon, FR

 

 

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2 Comments

Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Cacciatore

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Judith, meet Bacchus

  1. lentonist

    February 27, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Looks like quite a character, does M. Grimou!

     
  2. judith2you

    February 27, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    The original “selfie”!!

     

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