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Lesrel, Adolphe Alexandre

Adolphe Alexandre Lesrel

1839-1929 • French

French artist Adolphe Alexandre Lesrel is considered by many to be one of France's elite genre painters. Lustrous fabrics, exquisite interiors and, of course, dashing cavaliers were Lesrel's specialty and his genius lay in his ability to render them with extraordinary detail and vibrancy of both color and light.

Born in 1839, Lesrel developed a style based on his study of the works of contemporary French painter Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier as well as 17th-century Dutch masters such as Rembrandt. Lesrel's compositions are characterized by his excruciating attention to the details of his subject's dress and surroundings. Cardinals and elegant ladies all found a place in his work but it was his dramatic cavaliers who captured the imagination of his admirers and patrons and elevated him to the upper echelons of French and English art societies. His paintings proved popular as they coincided with a contemporary nostalgic fascination with French history, a testament to which is the near-contemporary publication of famed French author Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers. Lesrel exhibited regularly throughout his career and won an honorable mention at the prestigious Paris Salon in 1889. He became a member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1890. Lesrel's work was also lauded in England where he exhibited extensively at the Arthur Tooth and Sons Gallery in London.


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