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The subject of this portrait, Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929), was a famous statesman of good repute active during the Third Republic. He acted as prime minister during World War I and as a member of the Radical Party. Clemenceau was known for his indomitable fighting spirit which led to the conservative party giving him the appropriate nickname of Tiger. He also was the author of numerous volumes and known as a literary figure enamored of art. He was in close contact with various artists, including the Impressionists, and in addition to Carrière, his portrait was painted by several artists such as Manet (1879) and Rodin (1911). Clemenceau was also well known for his extensive and now dispersed collection of Japanese woodblock prints and decorative arts. Carrière, in addition to his paintings of religious and literary subjects, left many portraits of his close friends. No matter what the subject, he always covered his painting surface with his distinctively mystical, otherworldly sensibility which still had a form of realism at its heart. In these works Carrière's magical color harmonies marvelously and accurately reproduce the sitter's features and beard, while lending a uniquely magical, poetic sensibility to their actual forms. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 95)

Details

  • Title: Portrait of Clemenceau
  • Creator Lifespan: 1849 - 1906
  • Creator Nationality: French
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Paris
  • Creator Birth Place: Gournay
  • Date Created: Undated
  • Location Created: France
  • Provenance: Kojiro Matsukata; Sequestered by the French Government, 1944; Returned to Japan, 1959.
  • Physical Dimensions: w550 x h900 mm
  • Painter: Eugène Carrière
  • Object title (Japanese): クレマンソー
  • Object notes (Japanese): この絵のモデルとなっているのは、第三共和制期代を通じて、令名をはせた政治家ジョルジュ・クレマンソー(1841-1929)である。第一次世界大戦の際には首相を務め、不屈の闘志をもって戦い抜いた急進共和派のこの政治家は、「虎」の異名をとるほど敵対する保守派の陣営からは恐れられていたが、同時に、多くの書物を著し、美術を愛好する文人でもあった。印象派のグループを初めとする多くの美術家と親しく交わり、カリエール以外にもマネや、ロダンなどによってその肖像が残されている。また、現在は四散してしまったものの相当量の日本の浮世絵や工芸品のコレクションを持っていたこともよく知られている。カリエールは、宗教的テーマや、文学的テーマと並んで、このような親しい友人の肖像画を多く残しているが、どのようなモティーフを扱っても、画面全体を覆うカリエール独特のモノトーンによる神秘的、夢幻的な雰囲気と、それを根底で支えるレアリスムは常に共通している。本作品においても、一見して看取されるのは、粗い褐色の筆あとの合い間から、骨相や髪などに特徴のある主題の人物が奇蹟のように現われるカリエールの微妙な色調の魔術、現実の姿を借りながら夢幻的な詩情を表出するあの独特の魔術である。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 95)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): カリエール、ウジェーヌ
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: Matsukata Collection, http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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