September 20, 2017
Mahonri M. Young (1877-1957), Sower after Chasseriau, no date, ink, 12 1/4 x 7 3/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.
French Romantic painter and printmaker Théodore Chassériau was born on this day in 1819. Chassériau moved to Paris as a young boy where he soon showed artistic skill during his education. He was entered into the art studio of French Neoclassical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres at the mere age of 11. His early work reflects the Neoclassical characteristics of his teacher, Ingres; however, Chassériau’s artistic style eventually captured the Romanticism of Eugène Delacroix.
Chassériau may be one of the most important, yet least known, figures in the history of early 19th-century painting. He is noted for his portraits, historical and religious paintings, allegorical murals, and images inspired by his travels to Algeria—his work displays an adaption of Classicism and Romanticism. He was also a prolific draftsman; many of his portraits were executed with a finely pointed graphite pencil and he is well known for his illustrations of Shakespeare’s Othello. His work would have significant impact on the style of future artists such as Gustave Moreau. The influence of Chassériau’s drafting style is seen in this print by Mahonri M. Young.
References: Oxford Art Online