Louis Albert BESNARD


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Status, price and estimation of the artist Louis Albert BESNARD

Price of a painting: 10,000 – 600,000 €.

Estimation of a watercolour or a drawing of the artist’s activity for auction: 2,000 – 25,000 €.

The dazzling success of an academic artist 

Louis Albert Besnard is a Parisian painter and engraver born in 1849 and died in 1934. He came from a family of artists, his mother was a famous miniaturist and his father was a history painter and a pupil of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

By virtue of his training, Besnard was the very example of the academic artist in the 19th century. He entered the School of Fine Arts in 1866, then attended the studio of Alexandre Cabanel before winning the Grand Prix de Rome in 1874 with his purely academic painting entitled “The Death of Timophane, tyrant of Corinth”.

At the end of his artistic training, he moved to England for a few years with his wife Charlotte Dubray, daughter of the famous sculptor Vital-Dubray. During his stay he exhibited his paintings and engravings at the Royal Academy in London.

A recognised artist, he has travelled extensively abroad, an endless source of inspiration for the artist. Besnard then produced numerous painted works, but also monumental decorations for Parisian monuments, etchings, prints, watercolours and pastels.

He was appointed Director of the Villa Medici in Rome, then Director of Fine Arts in Paris in 1922. Besnard was elected to the Académie française in 1924. He was decorated many times. These consecrations demonstrate the importance of this talented academic artist who was able to renew his art.

From academism to the avant-garde, the path of a resolutely modern painter

In the early 1910s, Besnard began a series of trips abroad. He exhibited at the 1909 Venice Biennale and then left with his family for a trip to India (Ceylon, South India, Pondicherry, Rajasthan, Bombay). This trip inspired him to make many sketches for his landscape paintings.

However, Besnard is above all a portraitist. He made many portraits, of his family, but also of personalities of the time such as Princess Mathilde, the actress Réjane or Madame Roger Jourdain, wife of the famous painter. In most of his portraits, the impressionist influence dominates. This influence may seem paradoxical insofar as Impressionism, the pictorial current of modern art, is opposed to Academism. In reality, Besnard is a painter who was able to advance his art by moving away from academism.

Heritage and Recognition

Besnard was able to synthesise the contributions of Impressionism and great painting in numerous compositions, as in his paintings decorating the Salon des Sciences at the Paris City Hall.

Many of the artist’s works can be found today in public collections such as the Musée d’Orsay or the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon.

Exhibitions were dedicated to him during his lifetime, as well as after his death. One of the most remarkable remains that presented by the Petit Palais in Paris until January 2017 and entitled “Albert Besnard (1849-1934), Modernités à la Belle Époque”.

Appraise and sell a painting by Louis Albert Besnard

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You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.