Lucien Levy Dhurmer,Original drawing in pastel,1917
Lucien Levy Dhurmer
The Painter of Souls
one of the best and strangest French Symbolists. Master of pastels
Since 1916, the war went through a period of apocalypse. After the great slaughter in Verdun and the battle of the Somme, General Nivelle went back on the attack : it was known as the “Chemin des Dames” (literally, the Ladies’ path).
Battles were fought in along the “Chemin des Dames” where the French Army took 200.000 casualties in just a few weeks.
The French losses were perceived by the soldiers and the French public as a disaster. For the soldiers and civilians the break up was then complete. The number of widows and orphans grew higher, wounded and blind soldiers and other “gueules cassées”’ (this meant the soldiers with serious facial injuries) came back home in cities and villages the war in all its horror.
Many artists rallied to the support of the population (soldiers and civilians) on the brink of despair.
Therefore, one of the famous pastel painter of the 19th & 20th centuries came running in answer to the call of the “Blind soldiers Home”. This home was aiming at helping wounded soldiers and their families.The sale of painting took place in May & June 1917 in Paris at the Georges Bernheim Gallery.
At the heights of his art, Lucien Levy Dhurmer was considered as one of the great Masters of the esoteric symbolism, strongly influenced by the pre-raphaelite movement .The issue was indeed up to his ambitions. He created “La Bienveillante” (The kind Lady).
Such as a goddess bathed in the heavenly light, she seems to give us a message. She appears as the Madonna full of compassion and kindness but of sadness also. She tries to ease our conscience and to kill our pain. She is the link between the living and the dead and she is the embodiment of all our hopes. Beyond eyes, she appeals to our souls.
More than a panting, this portrait is a page oh history. He will stay as a stiring legacy of the war ; an hymn to the peace.
"The Kind Lady"
Title : The Kind Lady
Date : 1917
Technique : Pastel on paper
Original frame and lead glass ( 1917)
Lucien Levy Dhurmer added at the back of the drawing
" Pour le foyer des soldats aveugles (For the charitable institution ofthe blind soldiers)"
Drawing size : 25,5x35,5 inches 65x90 cm / Size frame : 32x42 inches / 82 x 107 cm
Condition : Very goog condition
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