Thursday, July 26, 2018

A Merry Mashup

This amazing reverse painting on glass from the Pantages Portfolio is certain to turn more than a few heads! This dramatic image features a sculpture comprised of items from two categories... outdoor sports (including fox hunting, fishing, birding, and powder horns) and very feminine things (like a purse, pink scarf, lace, and boudoir accessories.) What is the artist trying to say here?

This visually stunning work is by French artist Fernand Renard (1912-1990) and is signed "Paris 1937." Little about the painter's personal life or influences has been documented. His works usually feature hyper-realistic still life images, including flowers, fruit, and shells. Professionally, Renard worked as a trompe l'oeil painter for the Paris based interior decorators Maison Jansen. This company was started in 1880 and was the first truly global design firms. Maison Jansen decorated the homes and offices of royal families, famous celebrities, and politicians - including some rooms in the White House during the JFK administration. Maison Jansen closed its doors in 1989, but the firm's furnishings and decorative items are still highly sought after at auction today.