Charles Amable Lenoir
- Charles Amable Lenoir
- Young Girl with Cherries
- signed c.a. Lenoir and dated 1900 (lower right)
- oil on canvas
Acquired from the above, 1983
In Bouguereau’s studio I became acquainted with his principal pupils, who were already successful painters. Among them I met one whom I had known as a child, in Fouras, and with whom I soon established a bond; I am speaking of my friend Charles Lenoir. He was the son of a customs official. He had embraced an artistic career after teaching primary school, and then as a supervisor of studies at the lycée in Rochefot.
Having had the tenacity and patience to save up several thousand francs from his modest income, he had decided to try his luck, and after severe privations and many vicissitudes he was able, thanks to his stubborn application and exceptional gifts, to carry off the highest rewards in the career, including even a Second Grand Prix de Rome.
After attracting attention by his genre paintings, which, at the age of 40 still had not made him fashionable, Lenoir set to work to ‘paint Bouguereaus,’ successfully earning an income for himself, while excelling in portrait painting.”
(La Gazette d’Aunis, November 26, 1934, as quoted in Damien Bartoli and Frederick Ross, William Bouguereau, his life and works, New York, 2010, p. 482).
In the same spirit as Bouguereau’s most cherished paintings, Lenoir’s portrayal of a young peasant girl, far removed from the realities of an increasingly industrialized France, is a virtuoso example of French Academic painting.