Leon Jean Basile Perrault (1832-1908)
[Leon Perrault, Leon Basile Perrault, Leon-Jean-Basile Perrault, Leon Bazile Perrault]
Another of the great modern exponents of figure painting in France, though in a totally different
feeling and manner to Carolus Duran, is Leon Basile Perrault, who was born at Poitiers in 1832.
He was a student under Picot and Bouguereau, and obtained an Honorable Mention for his very first
exhibit at the Salon, in 1861. He took his first medal three years later, and many of his works
have been acquired by the State for various museums. His pictures are well known in the United States,
where they have long been popular with collectors. In addition to exact paintings he has executed a
number of important decorations, and as a portrait painter his place is inthe first rank. Perrault is
a strong and careful draughtsman, a fine colorist, and a finished but not labored executant.
His composition is always happy, his subjects well chosen, pleasing and full of interest, and
his pictures have that quality which causes people to say: "His figures live and speak."
His "La Cigale" was in the Salon of 1893. In it he gives a charming interpretation of the fable.
The merry grasshopper sings her song, careless of the approach of winter which is prognosticated
by the autumn foliage in which she is embowered. It is an idyll of the thoughtless gayety of
light-hearted life, heedless of anything beyond the day, and revelling in the full enjoyments
of the present.
Leon Perrault's picture shows a nymph who has detected Cupid in the act of making her a
target for one of his darts, and having captured and disarmed him, is taking her revenge
by teasing the malicious little enemy to the peace of mind of her sex.
Leon Perrault represents Venus enthroned in her chariot, in which she traverses her natal waves.
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