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Pierre-Auguste Cot


 The Greatest 19th-Century French Romantic Academic Painter of All Time

 Artistically and Stylistically Influenced by the following Painters and Art Movements: - NeoclassicismRococo style,  Classical Greek Art, William Bouguereau and Jacques-Louis David,

Education -  l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Toulouse, he studied under William Bouguereau

Cot was awarded first prize by L'Ecole des Beaux Arts  in 1863  

Medium - oil on linen


A diligent painter,  Pierre-Auguste Cot woke at dawn, painted while there was good light. His paintings showed great originality, merging his conventional classical interests with innocent sensuality. He painted from live models, scouring the French countryside for the most beautiful milkmaids and shop girls to populate his magnificent  paintings.

Description of  Pierre Auguste Cot's Romantic Academic Classicism Painting Style
Followers of this movement were influenced by the high standards of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts, which practiced under the movements of Neoclassicism and Romanticism Academic Classicism attempted to merge both techniques to create the perfect style. It is characterized by adhering to a strict manner of painting, following narrow compositional rules and delicacy of color. The atmospheric effects are sumptuously luminescent. According to art historian, Walter Pater " To produce such effects at all requires all the resources of painting, with its power of indirect expression, of subordinate but significant detail, its atmosphere, its foregrounds and backgrounds."

 Regarding French Classicism distinguished art critic and historian, John C. Van Dyke, observed "This was a revival of Greek form in art, founded on the belief expressed by Winckelmann, that beauty lay in form, and was best shown by the ancient Greeks. It was the objective view of art which saw beauty in the external and tolerated no individuality in the artist except that which was shown in technical skill. It was little more than an imitation of the Greek and Roman marbles as types, with insistence upon perfect form, correct drawing, and balanced composition. In theme and spirit it was pseudo-heroic, the incidents of Greek and Roman history forming the chief subjects, and in method it rather despised color, light-and-shade, and natural surroundings. It was elevated, lofty, ideal in aspiration, but coldly unsympathetic because lacking in contemporary interest; and, though correct enough in classic form, was lacking in the classic spirit. Like all reanimated art, it was derivative as regards its forms and lacking in spontaneity. The reason for the existence of Greek art died with its civilization, and those, like the French classicists, who sought to revive it, brought a copy of the past into the present, expecting the world to accept it." Subject matter often used in Rococo art such historical and genre pictures was fashionable once again. This style favored interpretations of Greek, Roman and Renaissance themes.  Imagery often centered around Biblical stories, Arthurian legends and mythology According to Solomon Gessner, the great German painter and art historian, "By studying the works of Greek sculptors the painter can attain the sublimest conceptions of beauty, and learn what must be added to nature in order to give to the imitation dignity and propriety.

Associated Painters

 Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky, 1817-1900

Adolphe-William  Bouguereau1825-1905

Charles Emile August  Carolus-Duran, 1837-1917

Leon Francois Comerre,  1850-1916

Pierre-Auguste  Cot 1837-1883

Thomas Couture, 1815-1879

Paul Delaroche 1797-1856

Eugene Fromentin,  1820-1876

Jean Leon Gerome,  1824-1904

 Jean-Paul Laurens1838-1921

 Adolphe Alexandre Lesrel,  1839-1929

Luc Olivier Merson,  1846-1920

Hans Makart,  1840 - 1884

Giulio Rosati,  1858-1917

 Franz Xavier  Winterhalter, 1805-1873

William Clarke Wontner, 1857-1930

Fritz  Zuber-Buhler, 1822-1896


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 The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters