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Antoine Blanchard (French, 1910-1988)
Antoine Blanchard was a well-known painter from France. Specializing in Parisian street scenes, he captured the daily life of citizens in the beautiful capital. He was born near the banks of the Loire, France in 1910. His father was a furniture maker, and Antoine would watch his father carve the wood by hand. This early exposure to artistry and creativity influenced Blanchard to express his own talents at painting and drawing. Soon, in the renowned Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he received an award for his drawing and sculpture, Le Prix du Ministre.
When he was 22 years old, Blanchard moved to Paris and continued his studies, competing for the Prix de Rome shortly thereafter. This move sparked his fascination with daily Parisian street life.
Antoine was married in 1939 to a young lady, but later that year he was called to war. When he returned in 1942, he finally reunited with his art and had a daughter by his first wife. Two years later, his father died, leaving Blanchard to control the affairs of the family business, which hindered him from painting as often as he liked. This affected him for a period until he finally received new inspiration.
Paris in the 1800's and its images were the inspiration for many of his paintings. Often times, he would fret over a piece of work for months before releasing it as finished. His number of pieces may seem somewhat limited as a result of the amount of time he spent on all of his work. His tones are subtle, bright, shining and represent a harmonious vivacity of the bustling street life. Employing unique shades and lighting techniques, Blanchard blends lines gradually to achieve gracious radiance that refreshes the eyes.
Brilliant examples of his work include Café de la Paix, la Madeleine, and l’Arc de Triomphe, which many have claimed to be his best work. Because his work focused on the day-to-day life of Parisians around the turning of the century, collectors all around the globe have sought to get their hands on his paintings. It's no surprise that he is highly regarded as one of the best French painters in the world.
Blanchard continued painting until his passing on the 10th of August, 1988.
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