Smell the Roses: Louis Marie de Schryver

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As June is National Rose Month, the perfect artist to kick off this month is Louis Marie de Schryver, famous for his paintings of flower vendors on the streets of Paris. "Elysées," painted in 1895, is one such scene. Although de Schryver is a relatively modern artist who lived a long life (born in 1862, died in 1942), very little information is available about him. A few of the highlights from what is available:

1. At age 13, Louis Marie de Schryver debuted at the Salon des Champs-Elysées with two paintings, "Marguerites et Chrysanthèmes" and "Violettes et Fleurs Printanières." While exhibiting at such a young age was unusual itself, even more unusual was the fact that de Schryver was apparently not studying under any master at the time: the Salon catalog for that year lists no teacher for de Schryver.

2. De Schryver's work, mostly Parisian street scenes, was usually well-liked by critics and the public alike. In 1901, though, he stirred up controversy at the Salon, exhibiting "Lesbiennes" ("Lesbians"). Although many people claimed it was a brilliant work of art, it created such a scandal that it was removed from the show.

3. When de Schryver was only 17, he won a bronze medal at the World's Fair in Sydney for his painting "Lilacs."

4. At the turn of the century, de Schryver became fascinated with automobile races and began painting scenes from the races. He exhibited one of his race paintings, "L'arrivée du vainqueur au Premier prix del l'Automobile Club," at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants in 1907. Of de Schryver's race paintings, Gérald Schurr wrote that "the viewer gets the same flashing impression as a driver would get of the thrill of color before a large crowd." Unfortunately, there wasn't a large interest in automobile race paintings, so by 1910, de Schryver had returned to Parisian scenes.

A larger version of "Elysées" is available here.

"˜Feel Art Again' appears every Tuesday and Thursday.

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June 3, 2008 - 10:55am
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