Charles Gleyre: The Man Behind an Impression

Time moves forward at a quick and unrelenting pace. Looking back to the beginning of Artistic eras leave us insightfully inspired. On a global scale, there are incredible achievements and advancements. Modernistic societies have benefited from the makers of history, the voices that led the crowd and the creativity of brilliant men and women throughout the years. Behind every masterpiece is the image of an unsung hero. The individuals whose existence made possible only what others could imagine. One of the most influential men in artistic history remains behind the scenes, only to step out into the spotlight on due occasions. Earning respect in the Art community, we owe an easel tribute to Charles Gleyre.

“The Oriental Lady” Painted by Charles Gleyre

Taking a closer look, the world of Art has danced among the strands of time. Amidst wars and life altering events, we have witnessed expressions of Art as a pas de deux with world culture. It takes imagination and an open mind to absorb the arts abroad. Charles Gleyre had the courage and fervor to dream of colorful possibilities. He was orphaned at a young age and placed in the care of his uncle. Many youths in that time period attended an industrial style school. Realizing his passion for the intricate aspects of the arts, he joined several Art schools with notable teachers and mentors

The Journeys of Charles Gleyre

With a thirst for life and a heart needing filled with adventure, he was invited to journey with John Lowell JR. across the seas. Their agenda was to take in the views and native subjects while recording them. Each location opened up a fresh color palate. The diversity of beliefs and lifestyles were enough to keep Mr. Gleyre intrigued. It was an unfortunate circumstance that compelled him to return home. He not only experienced a severe inflammation in his eye, he also gained poor health due to a fever he contracted in Lebanon.

“Le Soir ou les Illusions” Painted by Charles Gleyre

He opened his own studio and continued his works. Although Charles Gleyre had a refined technique for his poetic paintings, he had more to explore. The paintings he chose to display became renowned for their ingenious techniques. The Artist did not enjoy the height of the recognition and chose to keep a quieter lifestyle. He took over the studio of Paul Delaroche and found his calling as a teacher. He wanted his students to find their own place on the canvass. He gained quite the following, aligning himself with some of the most talented Artists of that period.

In his studio, you could see artists such as Monet, Renoir and Sisley. He encouraged them to paint a technique they were familiar with yet hadn’t been used to its fullest extent. He brought them out to paint en plein air which became more than an accomplished form. This would ultimately lead to the Impressionistic movement that had a hand in changing the worlds perception of Art and ultimately cemented the Gleyre name in the archives of history.