Studio Interior, Octave Tassaert, France 1845
It is certainly beautifully rendered on myriad levels – light, composition, pallet, theme and more. Perhaps it’s the visual back story that intrigues me about the work.
At first glance, I thought this was a painting of a young man peeling potatoes by the hearth, but on closer inspection, I saw that this was either an artist himself, or an artist’s assistant perhaps taking a break while the master attends to something else in the studio. Or perhaps, the artist has yet to begin his work as it is clearly visible that the pallet is free from paint. For that matter, there appears to be no paint in the box whatsoever. Perhaps the project ahs yet to begin making this the calm before the storm so to speak.
It’s actually quite serene and peaceful and I’m sure there were worse places to be in 1845 in France - where and when this work was created. It now hangs in the Musée du Louvre in Paris. Perhaps I came across it there several years ago and its memory has drifted through my subconscious mind until this misty reacquaintance this early morning.
The artist was Octave Tassaert. At the age of 74, after Tassaert became an alcoholic and his health and eyesight deteriorated greatly, he took his own life. He never quite found the success of peer approval that he was seeking – it’s a rather tragic tale actually and you can read about it briefly here - http://www.terminartors.com/artistprofile/Tassaert_Octave