Paul Édouard ROSSET-GRANGER (Vincennes, 1853 – Paris, 1934)
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated (18)81 lower left
41 x 33 cm
Related work: painting exhibited at the Salon of 1881, under No. 2047, for which our work is preparatory
Our painting is a preparatory study for the painting of the Salon of 1881, titled Erôs and exposed under No. 2047. The work of the Salon measured 1.46 x 1.14 m, and was worth to its author, then domiciled at 59, rue des Batignolles in Paris, obtaining a scholarship allowing him to make the trip to Italy. Its current location is not known.
The booklet of the Salon quoted the verses of his friend Guillaume Dubufe which Rosset-Granger had inspired for his painting: Sitting in the depths of the woods on an antique altar, / Which have the lovers wont to come. / Erôs, at the blue hour when the day will end, / Sharpen his songs on his ironic bow, / An arrow is the mocking bow whose music / makes the birds sing and the humans suffer; / The beings, at his voice, hasten to run, / And the echo, on the mountains, gives him the reply. / (G. Dubufe Jr.)
The criticism was rather complimentary: “… This is the subject that Mr. Rosset-Granger has represented this year with a lot of brilliance and a great verve in color”.
Th. Veron wrote: “Erôs sits on an ancient throne and his head in profile, inclined to his right shoulder. He gives an ironic smile to all the lovers coming to make vows at the feet of his majesty. Pretty eclogue or bucolic taking place under this hanger supported by columns. Eros occupies the center having a pyramid of laurels for foil. Two pleasant figures arrive at their rendezvous. Poetry and charm “.
But the critic of the Literary and Artistic Union of August 10, 1881 reproached “a background landscape similar to an opera setting, with the two lovers who would be dancers making their entry”.
A number of differences exist between the study and the final version: notably the disappearance of the two doves and the urn at the feet of Erôs, as well as the attitudes of the two lovers in the background.
Pupil of Alexandre Cabanel, Edouard Dubufe and Mazerolle (under whose orders he worked on the ceiling of the French comedy in 1879), Rosset-Granger began to exhibit at the Salon from 1878, portraits and mythological themed works. He will get several awards. As a painter, he is also an illustrator and decorator for private residences or official buildings (Hôtel de ville des Mureaux, for example).
A great friend with Guillaume Dubufe (1853-1909), whom he met in the workshop of Mazerolle, the two men will decorate the City Hall of Saint-Mandé between 1906 and 1909. He is also one of the many artists who participate to the decoration of the Train Bleu, the restaurant of the Gare de Lyon.
Before the acquisition of this work, we did not know Rosset-Granger well, and during the research we did, we discovered an excellent draftsman.