Jules Dupre - Encyclopedia

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JULES DUPRE (1812-1889), French painter, was one of the chief members of the Barbizon group of romantic landscape painters. If Corot stands for the lyric and Rousseau for the epic aspect of the poetry of nature, Dupre is the exponent of her tragic and dramatic aspects. He was the son of a porcelain manufacturer, and started his career in his father's works, whence he went to his uncle's china factory at Sevres. After studying for some time under Diebold, a painter of clock faces, he had to pass through a short period of privation, until he attracted the attention of a wealthy patron, who came to his studio and bought all the studies on the walls at the price demanded by the artist-20 francs apiece. Dupre exhibited first at the Salon in 1831, and three years later was awarded a second-class medal. In the same year he came to England, where he was deeply' impressed by the genius of Constable. From him he learnt how to express movement in nature; and the district of Southampton and Plymouth, with its wide, unbroken expanses of water, sky and ground, gave him good opportunities for studying the tempestuous motion of storm-clouds and the movement of foliage driven by the wind. He received the cross of the Legion of Honour in 1848. Dupre's colour is sonorous and resonant; the subjects for which he showed marked preference are dramatic sunset effects and stormy skies and seas. Late in life he changed his style and gained appreciably in largeness of handling and arrived at greater simplicity in his colour harmonies. Among his chief works are the "Morning" and "Evening" at the Louvre, and the early "Crossing the Bridge" in the Wallace Collection.

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