Louis Anquetin (1861-1932)

Born in Etrepagny, France, Anquetin moved to Paris at the age of 21 and studied at the studio of Léon Bonnat. There, he became friends with Toulouse-Lautrec. Together, Anquetin and Toulouse-Lautrec would search for a new, more modern style of painting beyond Impressionism. They formed a group which included Vincent Van Gogh and Emile Bernard and would often use each other as models for their work.

Because Anquetin worked so closely alongside Toulouse-Lautrec and others, their works would often influence each other.

 

At The Moulin Rouge, 1893

 

Toulouse-Lautrec’s At the Moulin Rouge, 1895

 

The bold black lines and even bolder color palettes of Anquetin were often matched later by his contemporaries.

 

Avenue de Clichy, Five O’Clock, 1887

 

Café Terrace by Vincent Van Gogh, 1888

 

This style of painting that Anquetin spearheaded was dubbed “cloisonnism” by art critic Edouard Dujardin, and was inspired by stained glass art as well as Japanese ukiyo-e.

 

The Winds of the Seine, 1989

 

Strangely though, most art aficionados recognize the work of his contemporaries and Anquetin is still relatively lesser-known today. This is most likely because, unlike his circle of friends, Anquetin actually rejected the new modern style he helped to create. Perhaps if Anquetin had remained true to his work in his early years, his name would be as recognizable today as Van Gogh or Picasso.

 

Femme Dans La Rue

 

Girl With Flowers

 

Vase De Fleurs

 

In The Street

 

Portrait of A Woman, 1890

 

To fully show the extent of Anquetin’s change in style, one only has to compare and contrast his early work to his later work. For example, his earlier modern works were quite typical to what you may see from a Neo-Impressionist:

 

Girl Reading a Newspaper, 1890

 

To something a little more classical in his later works:

 

Venus and Cupidon, 1926

 

Sadly, Anquetin’s embrace of the old masters was widely ignored and he fell into obscurity. During his later years, Anquetin particularly painted allegorical and Rubenesque-style paintings. Anquetin even went on to write a book about Rubens which was published in 1924.

In his later years, this old master styling dominated Anquetin’s collection, including numerous anatomy studies and sketches.

 

Anatomy Study Sketch

 

 

Like most painters, Anquetin was an accomplished lithographer as well. Often, his lithography would be in the form of posters (much like lifelong friend Toulouse-Lautrec).

 

Marguerite Dufay poster print

 

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