Antoine Blanchard (1910-1988): Moulin Rouge. Image courtesy of: antoineblanchard.org
Rehs Galleries Inc., a New York gallery specializing in 19th and 20th-century European and American works of art, has launched an updated Antoine Blanchard (1910-1988) Virtual Catalogue Raisonné, which can be accessed via www.antoineblanchard.org.
The catalogue raisonné project began in 2007 after the gallery noticed that almost 80% of the works offered at auction were not by THE Antoine Blanchard (whose real name was Marcel Masson). During the artist’s lifetime, his paintings were in such demand that galleries and dealers who could not obtain them hired other artists to paint similar scenes and signed them ‘Antoine Blanchard.’ It even came to light that one of his main dealers sold works by some of these other artists. Rehs Galleries felt it was time for someone to clean up the market.
Blanchard (Marcel Masson) was the eldest of three children; his father was a carver who managed a small carpentry and furniture shop. He displayed an artistic flair early in life; his parents would send him to Blois for drawing lessons before he continued his training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Rennes. Upon completing his studies, he received the school’s highest award: Le Prix du Ministre.
By 1932, Blanchard enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. It was there he developed a love for the city and its street life. But shortly after, life began to get in the way of his art. In 1939, he was called up for military service after World War II broke out. Although he returned to painting for a brief period after the war, in 1944, his father passed away, and he was compelled to return home to run the family business.
Blanchard eventually gave his brother control of the company and returned to Paris in 1948, nearly a decade after leaving. Contemporary life had changed, and he longed for the bygone days. He began researching the Belle Époque period and collected images of Paris during the 1890s. These images would inspire his original paintings, often working on them for days or months before completion. Mrs. Paule Larde comments in her book Antoine Blanchard, His Life His Work (pgs. 73 & 77) that “he has always spent much time on his work. This explains why his production has always been rather limited, unlike the hurried and multiple proliferations of some modern artists… Delicate touches of luminous and shimmering tones produce a marvelous impression of harmony, brightness and light.”
Amy Rehs, the current expert, commented, “it was in the late 1950s that the artist became completely immersed in capturing views of Paris during the late 19th century, a subject matter he would continue with until he died in 1988. It also appears that this was the same period when he started using the pseudonym Antoine Blanchard, though it is still unknown why.”
The Antoine Blanchard virtual catalogue raisonné is an ongoing project that can be accessed at: https://www.antoineblanchard.org. Anyone with additional information about the artist’s life or work should contact the gallery through the Blanchard website or by calling Amy Rehs at (212) 355-5710.
About Rehs Galleries, Inc.
Rehs Galleries Inc. is, along with its principals, considered one of the world’s leading dealers of 19th and early 20th-century European paintings and is currently involved in the catalogue raisonné research projects for Daniel Ridgway Knight, Julien Dupré, Emile Munier, and Antoine Blanchard. Howard Rehs was a past president of the Fine Art Dealers Association, is currently on the Board of the Antiques Council, and has been a member of the Internal Revenue Service’s Art Advisory Panel since 2008.
SOURCE Rehs Galleries, Inc., New York City; PRNewswire
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