Christ in profile, 1930 Georges Rouault.
I was wonderfully surprised on my first visit to the Cincinnati Art Museum to see a very large collection of paintings by my favorite painter Georges Rouault.
Georges Rouault, Still life with flowers, 1939
Georges Rouault,The injured clown, 1932
Georges Rouault, The Clown, 1918-22
Georges Rouault, Nocturne, 1939
Georges Rouault, Detail of Nocturne, 1939
Rouault’s artistic evolution was accompanied by a religious one, for he had become an ardent Roman Catholic. He began to frequent, as had Daumier, the Paris law courts, where he had a close view of humanity apparently fallen from the grace of God. His artistic focus became prostitutes, tragic clowns, and pitiless judges.
Georges Rouault, Detail#2 of Nocturne, 1939
Rouault is considered an isolated figure in art history for at least two reasons: he practiced Expressionism a style that has never found much favor in France, and he was chiefly a religious painter—one of the most convincing in recent centuries. Both statements, however, need qualification. Rouault was not as fiercely Expressionistic as some of his expressionistic contemporaries; and he was not an official church artist; his concern with sin and redemption was deeply personal. Rouault has been an artist of personal interest and inspiration to me. That’s one of the reasons I was so thrilled to see so many of his paintings in Cincinnati.