Oil on panel
6 x 4 inches (15.2 x 10.2 cm.)
Framed: 12 3/4 x 10 3/4 inches (32.4 x 27.3 cm.)
Signed: A.A. Lesrel
Adolphe Alexandre Lesrel was born at Genet in France on May 19, 1839. He studied painting and was greatly influenced by the famous French artist Jean-Louis Meissonier, who painted detailed military subjects.
During the 19th century, people developed a vivid fascination with the past. This was particularly true in France where memories of the recently deposed monarchy were still strong and the political situation was volatile. Paintings emphasized the human qualities of the subjects, and in Lesrel’s works, he alludes to the paternal qualities of the monarchy by painting the King’s men at ease in their domestic situations.
Lesrel gives us an intimate and nostalgic glimpse into the past. His cavaliers are exquisitely painted with every attention to detail. His colors are rich and vibrant, and his rendition of luxury is outstanding.
The artist was elected to the Society of French Artists in 1885, and he received an award from them in the Exposition Universelle in 1889. He became an Associate of the Salon de la Nationale Beaux Arts in 1890 and regularly exhibited his works there.
In The Violinist, Lesrel, in typical style, presents the viewer with a cavalier from a bygone era. He sits at a table, sheet music in front of him, completely absorbed in the task of tuning his violin. Lesrel’s attention to detail is extraordinary, and his ability to reproduce the textures and rich colors of different fabrics is on full display; from the rich burgundy velvet and bronze brocade of the violinist’s clothing, to the dark green velvet draped over the table and hanging as a curtain in the background. This is truly a lovely little gem of a painting.