For me, painting is a way to forget life. It is a cry in the night, a strangled laugh. Georges Rouault
No. 55, L’aveugle parfois a consolé le voyant // Sometimes the blind have comforted those that see.
Georges Rouault is an isolated figure in twentieth-century art. He remained outside of the group movements that dominated the century, yet was possessed of a fixed and persistent artistic vision. Born in Paris in 1871, he was apprenticed as a youth to a stained glass workshop. In 1891, he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and studied under Gustave Moreau. He was involved with the Fauvists (including Henri Matisse) and began participating in major exhibitions. Rouault’s recurrent subjects include judges, clowns and prostitutes, who serve as vehicles for moral and social critique and reflections on human nature. Christian themes, particularly the passion of Jesus, are a dominant strain in Rouault’s work. Rouault seems psychologically attuned to the intensity and spirituality of stained glass, and heavy contours and gothic distortion of form are readily observable in his work. In addition to paintings, drawings, and prints, he also executed ceramics and designs for tapestry and stained glass, as well as the set for Diaghilev’s ballet 1929 ballet The Prodigal Son. Rouault is credited as an influence on the German Expressionists. A highly regarded figure in France, he was given a state funeral upon his death in 1958. Saint Louis University