December 19, 2012 - March 24, 2013
One of the most distinctive French artists of the twentieth century, Georges Rouault (1871–1958) is renowned for simple images that carry profound emotions. Rouault was an apprentice stained-glass painter before enrolling at the École des Beaux-Arts. In 1892 he became a pupil of the painter Gustave Moreau, who taught him to find inspiration in his own imagination. Around 1903, the artist began painting vivid watercolors representing clowns, corpulent businessmen, criminals and judges. His frontal or profile compositions were reminiscent of Medieval painting or stained glass. Rouault was a devout Catholic, associated with a church movement that advocated a return to the religious orthodoxy of Medieval times. During World War I the dynamic Parisian art dealer and publisher Ambroise Vollard became his agent. He rented a studio for Rouault and encouraged him to make prints. This exhibition, drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection, presents a selection of the artist’s prints done between 1917 and 1948. In these bold images of the seamy side of life, Rouault saw the want of divine grace and the miracle of redemption.