Friday, 21 September 2012

Auguste Toulmouche and The Kiss

'The Kiss' (1886) by Auguste Toulmouche; no location found

When I saw the name of French painter Auguste Toulmouche, born on September 21, 1829, as an option for today, I didn't have to look any further. Doing this blog and browsing through art books and the net, I had come across this painter already numerous times but forgot to look up his dates. So the decision on today's painter was instant but it took me a bit longer to select a painting. Putting his paintings together, you see women in beautiful dresses set in beautiful interiors. Very Alfred Stevens-like. I decided not to choose one of his women portraits. I like them a lot, although they are very sweet and smooth, painted in the French Academic style. I chose a depiction of a man and woman in a private moment. The scene is set in a lush decor and they are both wearing costumes. Maybe they are at a costume ball and slipped away, not being able to restrain their passion any longer. I couldn't find information on this painting other than a subjective article on a personal blog. Click here for an interesting blogpost on Toulmouche's The Reluctant Bride and The Kiss. The blogger describes both paintings as the grit in the licked surface of Toulmouche's paintings. It's not surprising when seeing his paintings (click here and here and here and here, to select a few) that Toulmouche was specialised in costume painting. The phenomenon of costume painting came into view at the height of his career, at a time that people reveled in depictions of sentimental, romantic life. Today's painting is also very romantic and sweet but because it tells the story of stealing a secret kiss (something we can all relate to), it somehow holds more appeal than his women portraits.

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