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 Guillaume Seignac  (1870 - 1924)

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Lived/Active: France/United States      Known for: painting

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from Auction House Records.
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Guillaume Seignac    1870 – 1924

Born in Rennes, France, Guillaume Seignac became a faithful adherent to the academic traditions.  He received his training at the Academy Julian in Paris, where he spent the years 1889 through 1890 and 1894 through 1895.  His teachers, staunch supporters of the Academic tradition, included Tony Robert-Fleury, a noted history and genre artist; Gabriel Ferrier, who had been awarded the Prix de Rome in 1872 and was noted as a talented artist who possessed much charm and sincerity; and William Adolph Bouguereau, a symbol of academic art in France, winner of the Prix de Rome and one of the most successful French painters.  All had received the awards and honors of the Salon and were members of the Legion of Honor. 

Seignac began exhibiting at the Salon in 1897 and did so almost yearly until his death in 1924.  He was elected a member of the Society of French artists in 1901 and that same year was also appointed an Officer of the French Academy.  The artist also received an Honorable Mention at the Salon of 1900 and a Third Class medal in 1903.  In 1906 Seignac was appointed to the post of Officer of Public Instruction in Art.

Specializing in portraying women, clothed and nude, he met with much success, primarily in the United States, where his work could be found in many collections.

The look of the “Official” art of the Salon continued in the work of Guillaume Seignac, or, as Charles Saunier wrote of his art in the Salon of 1908:  “Bouguereau is dead, long live Bouguereau! Or, rather, long live Monsieur Seignac!  For in the works of the disciple live once more the subjects dear to the dead artist, with his mellowness and perfection of execution.”

Excerpted from the unpublished catalog by Edward P. Bentley for the Haussner Restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland, titled: Haussner’s, The Art Collection

Biography provided by Edward Bentley.

Biography from Anderson Galleries, Inc.:
Seignac trained at the Ecole des Beaux Arts under the tutelage of William Bouguereau, where he developed a unique talent for depicting classical figures with a high degree of finish.  Bouguereau described the Seignac nude as un genie immortel—an ideal of grace and beauty that transforms nature. 

Seignac later studied with Anthony Robert-Fleury and Gabriel Ferrier thus completing his extensive tour through some of Paris’ most celebrated ateliers.  The artist became a frequent contributor to the Paris Salon and received a number of medals for the works he exhibited there.  19th century European and American society found great appeal in the romanticism of Seignac’s idealized figures and as more and more families wished to appear stylishly modern, works such as L’Amour désarmé became exceedingly popular.  Until that time, the most desirable paintings to display in the home were the works of the Italian Renaissance masters. Seignac was highly influenced by these painters, as evidenced by the harmoniously balanced composition and equilibrium between color and line. Seignac brought the Sistine sibyl into the modern world, framing her figure in nature and immortalizing her beauty.

Museum Collections Include: Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

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