A French painter (1871-1958), whose most memorable images are of Christ, of clowns and circus folk, and of prostitutes, all with immense sympathy and mild sadness. He trained in stained glass, and he studied under the symbolist artist Gustave Moreau, so his style typically used emerging bright colours within thick dark outlines.

Born in Paris in 1871, he was apprenticed to a stained-glass maker in 1885, then went to Moreau's studio in 1892. On Moreau's death in 1898 he became keeper of the Moreau Museum, a post he held until his own death in 1958.

From about 1904 he exhibited with the Fauves, though his colours were always much more muted than theirs, and held his first solo exhibition in 1910. His images of Christ are among the most profound and recognizable religious images of the century, with the same inclusive humility as in his restful clowns. He also painted judges and kings in sterner attitudes. He did some graphic work, design, tapestry, and ceramics, but in his old age his work was exclusively religious. I find his work very calming.

I haven't looked hard for an on-line gallery of his work but a good sample of six of them is at
http://www.barewalls.com/cgi-bin/search.exe?SEARCHSTRING=rouault

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