United Kingdom • 1852−1944
George Clausen (eng: George Clausen, April 18, 1852, London - November 22, 1944, Cold Ashe). English painter, graphic artist and theorist of art.

Features of the artist George Clausen: The work of Clausen is primarily the work on the theme of rural life and daily peasant labor. He painted portraits of the villagers, who amazed contemporaries with their unusual frankness and at the same time depth, attentiveness to details, sensitivity to characters. At various times, Clausen was influenced by several artists: Millet, Corot, Bastien-Lepage and the French impressionists.

Famous paintings by George Clausen: "The girl at the gate", «Self-portrait», "The head of a peasant woman", "Sobbing youth", "Girl's head".

George Clausen's family lived in London. His father was a Dane, and his mother was Scottish. His father worked as an artist-decorator, so the son could realize his artistic abilities without obstacles. From the age of eighteen he already earned it a living by working as a draftsman in a construction organization.

Clausen was educated at the National School of Art (Royal College of Art). Later he wrote that here he acquired technical skills. His teacher was Edwin Longwho persuaded the young man to do painting professionally.

Students and teachers massively addicted at the time Layton and Millet - they were considered the standard. But unofficially, Clausen, along with the rest of the youth, secretly dreamed of meeting an overseas artist Whistlerwho was their real idol. In his early work, he was also influenced Tissot, and the young man even managed to capture the artist's muse and wife, Kathleen Newton. Traveling to Holland also had its artistic consequences.

The next step was Paris. Clausen studied at the Julian Academy (private academy of arts) from such masters as Bouguereau and Tony Robert-Fleury. But in the Academy the artist lingered only for five months. Most of all, he was attracted to such masters as Koro with his pearly landscapes, and among the impressionists he singled out Degas and Mane. Their airiness and transience is read on the canvases of Clausen, depicting even the most difficult peasant life.

He first began exhibiting his work at Burlington House in the 1870s. Critics, spectators and colleagues warmly received the new artist with his soulful landscapes and non-superficial understanding of the work and everyday life of the villagers.

The flow of country life attracted Clausen not only in terms of the factuality and realism of the image on the canvas. His works are full of personal perception, empathy, depth. He paid special attention to the work on landscapes, studying nature under different lighting conditions.

Having married, Clausen makes a strange decision for the artistic elite to leave London and live in a village. It was the path of complete immersion, the desire to write as authentically as possible. Naturalism, perceived from the paintings of Bastien-Lepage, which he saw in Paris, becomes an integral and then recognizable feature of his work. The artist does not shy away from the details and physical imperfections of his heroes, shows them without embellishment with their wrinkles, large noses and hanging centuries. Under the influence of the French painter, the famous painting “The Girl at the Gate” was painted. This is a portrait of a rural woman who worked as a nanny at Clausen.

Clausen's wife Agnes sometimes appeared on his canvases. But the two daughters Margaret Mary and Catherine Francis often became his models ("Student", "Two girls sort roses"). The couple also had a son, Arthur George.

Despite a rather traditional selection of subjects, the audience, colleagues and critics perceived Clausen with enthusiasm. But the naturalistic manner of writing attracted, of course, not everyone: the “aesthetes” were indignant, considering the author to be the representative of the “school of freaks”.

In 1906, Clausen became an academician and professor of painting. He especially revealed himself as a teacher, his studies were popular. It was noted that even very liberal youth regularly attended his lectures. He used his experience of working with students to create the theoretical work “Six lectures on painting”. His next work was the book "Goals and Ideals in Art".

Clausen was one of the founders of the New English Art Club (New English Art Club) - a community that was brought up in open-air painting and opposed the conservative Royal Academy of Arts. In 1927 he was knighted.

George Clausen died in 1944, having lived 92 years.

Author: Lyudmila Lebedeva
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