Auguste-Barthélemy Glaize (Montpellier 1807 – Paris 1893)
Self-portrait in oriental style
Oil on canvas
56 x 46 cm
Monogrammed on lower left: AG
After his first training with the brothers Achille and Eugène Devéria, Glaize began his career at the 1836 Salon in Paris. Active and recognized as a religious and historical painter, we find his works in many churches in France, including the Parisian churches of Saint Sulpice, Notre Dame de Bercy, Saint Gervais or Saint Eustache.
In a less official vein, the self-portrait we present can be compared to the drawing kept at the Art Institute of Chicago (fig.1). The features of the model, which are very similar in both works, suggest a similar date of execution, around 1830. However, their spirit is quite different.
The drawing shows the artist in action, in contemporary costume, with his gaze directed towards the viewer. In the painting, Glaize stages himself in a theatrical manner. To his natural features, and to his ample and curly hair, he only needs to add a large collar and an oriental outfit to appear to us as a Moor like a modern Othello.
This time, his gaze is not intended for us. We are the witnesses of a scene in which he is an actor. If we add to this other way of representing himself, the choice of strong and vibrant colors in the style of Delacroix, or even what is perhaps an evocation of literary sources in a universe marked by the Orient, it seems that we can consider this self-portrait as an archetypal work of romanticism. The artist, beyond his appearance, reveals himself as a champion of modernity.
Price on request