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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Alphonse Leon Quizet's Paintings in Montmartre

Alphonse Quizet was a pioneer to Modernism and an active member of the School of Montmartre. This group of artists wasn't an official school that exhibited together, but they learned from one another. In the early 20th century, Montmartre, France was the epicenter of the art world, and living there enabled Quizet to create works that have had a profound influence on art today. The Fauves, Nabis, Post-Impressionists, Cubists, and Surrealists all drew inspiration from Montmartre. Quizet never became a sole part of any of these movements, but you can see hints of the various style movements in his paintings.

Alphonse Quizet was born in Paris in 1885 and began his career as a draftsman for an architectural firm. This is where Quizet developed a keen eye for painting his architectural scenes. Quizet paintings are dominated by scenes of buildings which often times exhibit strong angles and almost exaggerated lines. These works would not have been possible if Quizet didn't have such a strong understanding of perspective. His paintings of buildings have excellent form and are always very balanced and true.

Quizet was exposed to extremely talented artists in Montmartre. One particular artist who Quizet grew a connection with was Maurice Utrillo who eventually became his protege. Quizet and Utrillo sold their works of art together and often times painted the same subject matter. In fact, Utrillo would even store some of his paintings at Quizet's home in Montmartre. Utrillo and Quizet paintings look extremely similar to one another and are often times mistaken for each other.

Maurice Urillo, La Rue Norvins a Montmartre, Oil/board, c. 1910

Quizet's paintings look very simplified in composition, but are very sophisticated in taste. The colors that he chooses to use in his works give off a unnerving sense of despair. The yellows, grays and off-whites never romanticize the scenes but create a sense of desolation, making them feel more alone. The deteriorating buildings and roads with sharp angles orchestrate a surreal feeling of emptiness. His urban scenes are often times busy with buildings, but rarely with people. There is little known about Quizet's personal life, however his pupil, Utrillo was very troubled. Perhaps Quizet may have used his works as a extension of his personality, like Utrillo did with his.

Alphonse Quizet received a number of awards and overall recognition while in Paris. He was made a member of the Salon d'Automne in 1926 and was named Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1931. Between 1907 and 1955, his work was exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants, the Salon Paris Moderne and the Salon des Tuilleries, and in addition to exhibiting in Sweden, Norway and Japan. Additionally in 1931, Quizet was awarded the Silver Medal at the International Exposition in Paris.

Quizet's paintings are in the collections of the Musée Nationale d'Art Moderne, the Petit Palais, the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Musée du Luxembourg; also at museums in Copenhagen, Saint-Etienne, Le Havre, Grenoble and Philadelphia. His works also grace the walls of numerous galleries and homes. Quizet's influence and style will surely make his works collectible for generations to come. MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. has been fortunate to have researched and appraised various Quizet works in the past and would be more than happy to assist you in doing the same for selects items in your collection.

Researched and written by Robert Snell

MIR Appraisal Services, Inc.
Principal Appraiser: Farhad Radfar, ISA AM
307 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 308
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 814-8510

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    Welcome to our blog site! MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. is a fine art and personal property appraisal company dedicated to serving clients throughout the United States and abroad since our incorporation in Chicago in 1994. We specialize in the multi-faceted field of appraising fine art, jewelry, antiques, and decorative items. We also provide professional fine art restoration and conservation treatment for various media, including but not limited to, artworks on canvas, board, masonite, and paper. We offer professional and precise appraisal services carried out by our team of accredited appraisers for the purposes of insurance coverage and claims, charitable donations, estate planning and probate, equitable distribution and fair-market value. We started our art commentary blog site as a venue for colleagues and fellow art enthusiasts to share their experiences within the art community.