19thc french academy_Théodore Ralli

The latter half of the 19thc and first quarter of the 20thc diverse things happening in different parts of the Globe. Here we have a Painter trained in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts French Academic manner which painted things that looked like things. They were primarily recorders of Nature. Painting subjects largely dictated by the government. Compared to the Munich School Painters, French Paintings look cut-out and stitched together.

At the same time in Germany and the Munich Academy, one had a very different approach to painting following the manner of Velasquez and Vermeer. The Munich School Painters did not paint things they painted the chiaroscuro effects of light.

Meanwhile in France as the Academy started to crumble under its own weight we have the birth of Impressionism in the manner or Monet, and across the pond the Boston School with Tarbell, Benson, and Decamp had taken shape fusing the tenets of Velasquez, Vermeer, Chardin, and Monet.

Shown here in his Paris Studio Théodore Jacques Ralli was a Greek painter, watercolorist, and draughtsman, who spent most of his working life in France and Egypt. He painted genre works, portraits, local figures, architectural subjects, interiors with figures and animals. But he is best known for his Orientalist paintings.

He went to Paris under the patronage of King Otto of Greece and studied under Jean-Leon Gerome, and Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouy, both known for their orientalist paintings.

Ralli then traveled widely in North Africa and the Middle East, settling for a while in Cairo, Egypt. Here he found his inspiration for the romantic mysticism and suggestive sensuality of his many orientalist paintings.

His other genre paintings were often nostalgic recollections of the life and customs of his Greek homeland, which he portrayed with a delicate and moving reverence. His paintings were elaborated with great attention to detail, with great attention to costumes and facial expressions. The varying light sources in his paintings such as rays of light, candles, or the glowing embers in the fireplace are rendered in soft colours.

  • BORN • Theodoros Rallis-Scaramangi • 16 February 1852 • Istanbul
  • DIED • 2 October • 1919
  • EDUCATION • Ecole des Beaux-Arts • Jean-Leon Gerome
  • MOVEMENT • Orientalist

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