Debussy By Marcel Baschet 1884
Achille-Claude Debussy was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel he is considered the most prominent figure working within the style commonly referred to as Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. Debussy was not only among the most important of all French composers but also a central figure in all European music at the turn of the twentieth century. His music virtually defines the transition from late-Romantic music to 20th century modernist music. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as Symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.
Debussy by Jacques-Emile Blanche, 1902
Because Debussy was working and living in France among some of the most prolific and well known artists in history, it is highly likely that there are many unknown portraits of him in existence. Lesser known, as well as highly famous artists may have befriended the composer during his lifetime. These artists were generally poor throughout much of their lifetime and could not afford to pay sitting fees to models. Thus, they would have their friends sit for them at no charge. It is in this way that many portraits of Debussy may have been created, but still remain generally unknown.
Debussy by Jacques-Emile Blanche, 1903
Still wondering about a 19th century portrait in your family collection? Contact us... it could be of famed composer Claude Debussy.