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Paris Match: Dans l’intimité des peintres


Imagine us, passing through Arles one November morning of 1888, in front of the yellow house at 2 place Lamartine, peering through the ground floor window. We would have seen two gentlemen leaning over their work, next to a coy woman in fancy dress: Van Gogh and Gauguin side by side painting the portrait of Madame Ginoux l’arlésienne. A typical scene back then!

But so moving today, to tears even, at the idea that these two cursed artists together in misery would become universally recognized painting masters. What a picture! If only Paris Match had been there! Let’s push that vision a bit farther: to about 350 B.C., and let’s visit the damp workshop of a local sculptor in Athens. The blue sky of the Attica is streaming in through the window. The sound of the chisel on marble doesn’t stop the sound of the surrounding cicadas: Praxiteles before Phrynee, his beautiful mistress and model, built like Aphrodite or Cnide, the first Eve, as nude as in paradise… Another jump, into the Renaissance, let’s walk into the churches and palaces of Florence, Venice or Rome: all of the acrobatic painters working on their ceilings, climbing down in the evening, their faces and clothes covered with multicolored paint stains, otherwise known as Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Raphael or Michelangelo… Now imagine Vermeer with his wife, his eyes on his model posing in lace on the second floor of their sprawling home in Delft, while their children (they had 10 of them) clamored about on the ground floor. Silence! Mommy is stitching and daddy is painting…

Ahh, if only Paris Match had existed! The first issue was released on March 23, 1949, featuring a story about Raoul Dufy “…Dufy like Renoir paints with his paintbrush attached” was the article’s title. Since the beginning, Paris Match has unfailingly accompanied the world’s artists, visionaries of humanity.

Jean-François Chaigneau

Dans l’intimité des peintres
Jean-François Chaigneau
Glénat, 2011
Format : 240 x 320 mm
208 pages
EAN/ISBN : 9782723482813

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