Georges Antoine Prosper MARILHAT
(Vertaizon, 1811 - Paris, 1847)
Oil on canvas mounted on canvas
Signed lower left
26 x 42 cm
Son of the wealthy owner Pierre-Luc Marilhat and Jeanne Boudal, Georges Antoine Prosper Marilhat spent his youth in Puy-de-Dôme where he was introduced to drawing and painting by the Italian Giovanni Valentini (1796-1878 ) and regional artist Michel Goutay-Riquet (1804-1858).
At seventeen, Marilhat left college. He had done excellent studies there. While waiting for his fate to be decided and free from all worries, he took advantage of his temporary freedom to browse, the album and pencil in hand, the magnificent Auvergne region that he was later to illustrate with his brush.
After a short experience in the cutlery trade, Marilhat moved to Paris around 1829 where he joined the workshop of Pierre-Luc-Charles Cicéri (1782-1868) that he quickly left for that of Camille Roqueplan (1803-1855) . Two years later, he made his debut at the Salon of 1831 with a view of Auvergne.
It was as the draftsman of the scientific expedition of an Austrian aristocrat priding himself on botany, Baron Karl von Hügel, that Marilhat envisaged his trip to the East in 1831: Syria, Lebanon Palestine, then, at the beginning of 1832, Upper Egypt. Caught up in the architecture of Cairo and Alexandria, of which he would carry out numerous surveys, and as the baron continued his journey to India, he chose to stay in Egypt. He lived there for some time of his art, making portraits - that of Prisse d´Avesnes for example, or of the great Mohammed Ali. He returned to France aboard the Sphinx, accompanying the transshipment of the Luxor Obelisk chartered by Baron Taylor. It was in mid-May 1833 that Marilhat set foot again in France, in Marseilles, remembering several dozen sketch albums. He will never see the Orient again.
From then on, Marilhat moved to Paris permanently, apart from her two months of annual vacation in the country of her childhood. On the recommendation of his artist friend Caruelle d´Aligny, he will make the traditional trip to Italy during the summer of 1835. He will pass through Rome, Livorno, Venice, Bologna and Milan and will discover Provence on his return to Paris.
As previously indicated, Marilhat participated in the Salon from 1831 and received the gold medal four years later in 1835. The great gold medal was awarded to him ten years later for his final participation in the Paris Salon in 1844.
He died at the age of 36, after losing his mind, on September 13, 1847 in Paris, a victim of syphilis which had been gnawing at him for several years. He is buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris in the 1st division.
His workshop will be dispersed two years later at the end of 1849.
His painted work has been the subject of several engravings and lithographs by nearly forty artists including Jules Boilly (1796-1874), Louis Français (1814-1897), Célestin Nanteuil (1813-1873), Jean-Joseph Bellel (1816-1898) or even Jules Laurens (1825-1901).
Exhibited at the Salon in 1834, his first paintings caused a sensation and established him as one of the major figures of the orientalist movement in painting. Among the orientalists, where we find Dauzat as a “genre painter” and Delacroix as a “history painter”, Marilhat was considered the purest landscape painter with works of perfect composition, and which seek to render the panoramas and the landscape. light of the East with the greatest fidelity.
Marilhat was also a recognized official artist with the realization of three royal commissions in 1844 and 1845.
Museums: Albi, Besançon, Chantilly, Clermont-Ferrand, Le Mans, Le Puy-en-Velay, Montpellier, Moulins, Orléans, Paris (Louvre, ENSBA), Reims, Riom, Thiers, Dijon, Oran, Ottawa…
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