Albert Aurier

Gabriel-Albert Aurier (5 May 1865 – 5 October 1892) was a French poet, art critic and painter, associated with the Symbolist movement.

Aurier, Albert, BNF Gallica
Albert Aurier, c. 1890


The son of a notary born in Châteauroux, Indre, Aurier went to Paris in 1883 to study law, but his attention was soon drawn to art and literature; he then began to contribute to Symbolist periodicals.[1] He reviewed the annual Salon in Le Décadent,[2] later contributed to La Plume and, in 1889, was the managing editor of Le Moderniste Illustré.[3] From its foundation in 1890, he contributed to the Mercure de France, which published the essays on which Aurier's fame was founded: "Les Isolés: Vincent van Gogh" and "Le Symbolisme en peinture: Paul Gauguin".[4]

After a trip to Marseille, Aurier died at the age of twenty-seven in Paris, on 5 October 1892, from a typhus infection. The next day, friends, writers and artists accompanied his coffin on the funeral train departing from the Gare d'Orsay for Châteauroux, where his remains were entombed in the family grave.[5]

Six months after his death, in April 1893, his friends published his collected writings (Œuvres posthumes), edited by the Mercure de France.[6]

Art collecting

Most of the Van Gogh paintings from Aurier's collection were acquired by Helene Kröller-Müller, and are now in the collections of the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo (The Netherlands). Works by other artists from Aurier's estate - Émile Bernard, A. Fourmon, by unknown artists and Aurier himself - were first on public view in Paris, in 1960.[7]

Selected art criticism

Gabriel Albert Aubrier - Les isolés - first page Article on Vincent van Gogh - Mercure de France, January 1890

Gabriel Albert Aubrier: Les isolés, article praising Vincent van Gogh, Mercure de France, January 1890.

Vincent van Gogh - Letter to Albert Aurier - 9 or 10 February, 1890 - Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Vincent van Gogh: Letter to Albert Aurier, 8 or 9 February 1890.

References and sources

  1. ^ Lunn 1982, p. 8.
  2. ^ Lunn 1982, pp. 10–12, 19.
  3. ^ Lunn 1982, p. 20.
  4. ^ Lunn 1982, p. 26.
  5. ^ On the funeral, see: G.-Albert Aurier. Mercure de France, November 1892, p. 282-285
  6. ^ Œuvres posthumes de G.-Albert Aurier, Edition de Mercure de France, Paris 1893
  7. ^ See the items from the Williame Collection, Châteauroux, lent to the exhibition Les Amis de Van Gogh, Institut Néerlandais, Paris, 9 November - 17 December 1960.
  • Monneret, Sophie (1979). L'impressionisme et son époque, dictionnaire international. Paris: Denoël. ISBN 2-221-05222-6.
  • Lunn, Margaret Rauschenbach (15 October 1982). "G.-Albert Aurier, Critic and Theorist of Symbolist Art" (PDF) (PhD thesis). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 June 2011.
1865 in art

Events from the year 1865 in art.

1892 in art

The year 1892 in art involved some significant events.

Art critic

An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting and evaluating art. Their written critiques or reviews contribute to art criticism and they are published in newspapers, magazines, books, exhibition brochures and catalogues and on web sites. Some of today's art critics use art blogs and other online platforms in order to connect with a wider audience and expand debate about art.

Differently from art history, there is not an institutionalized training for art critics (with only few exceptions); art critics come from different backgrounds and they may or may not be university trained. Professional art critics are expected to have a keen eye for art and a thorough knowledge of art history. Typically the art critic views art at exhibitions, galleries, museums or artists' studios and they can be members of the International Association of Art Critics which has national sections. Very rarely art critics earn their living from writing criticism.

The opinions of art critics have the potential to stir debate on art related topics. Due to this the viewpoints of art critics writing for art publications and newspapers adds to public discourse concerning art and culture. Art collectors and patrons often rely on the advice of such critics as a way to enhance their appreciation of the art they are viewing. Many now famous and celebrated artists were not recognized by the art critics of their time, often because their art was in a style not yet understood or favored. Conversely, some critics, have become particularly important helping to explain and promote new art movements — Roger Fry with the Post-Impressionist movement, Lawrence Alloway with Pop Art as examples.

Auberge Ravoux

The Auberge Ravoux is a French historic landmark located in the heart of the village of Auvers-sur-Oise. It is known as the House of Van Gogh (Maison de Van Gogh) because the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh spent the last 70 days of his life as a lodger at the auberge. During his stay at Auvers, Van Gogh created more than 80 paintings and 64 sketches before shooting himself in the chest on 27 July 1890 and dying two days later on 29 July 1890. The auberge (inn) has been restored as a museum and tourist attraction. The room where Van Gogh lived and died has been restored and can be viewed by the public.


Aurier is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Albert Aurier (1865–1892), French poet, art critic and painter

Serge Aurier (born 1992), Ivorian footballer


Châteauroux (French pronunciation: ​[ʃatoʁu]) is the capital of the Indre department in central France and the second-largest town in the province of Berry, after Bourges. Its residents are called Castelroussins.

David Pierre Giottino Humbert de Superville

David Pierre Giottino Humbert de Superville (The Hague, 18 July 1770 – Leiden, 9 January 1849) was a Dutch artist and art scholar. He was a draughtsman, lithographer, etcher, and portrait painter, and also wrote treatises on art, including the influential work Essai sur les signes inconditionnels dans l'art (Leiden, 1827). His 1815 painting of the jurist and statesman Johan Melchior Kemper is now part of the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

His 1801 etching Allegory may have been a direct visual inspiration for Paul Gauguin's Spirit of the Dead Watching. Although no direct connection has been made, de Superville was cited by Albert Aurier as one of the forerunners of Symbolist painting and de Superville's book Unconditional Signs in Art (1827–32) was widely known to that group.A portrait of Humbert de Superville uit 1848, painted by Jacobus Ludovicus Cornet, is now in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The biography David Pierre Giottin Humbert de Superville, 1770-1849 by Cornelia Magdalena de Haas was published by A.W. Sijthoff in Leiden in 1941. In 1988, an exhibition of Humbert de Superville's work was held at the Musée Fabre in Montpellier (France) and at the Institut Néerlandais in Paris.

Death of Vincent van Gogh

The death of Vincent van Gogh, the Dutch post-Impressionist painter, occurred in the early morning of 29 July 1890, in his room at the Auberge Ravoux in the village of Auvers-sur-Oise in northern France. Van Gogh was shot in the stomach, either by himself or by others, and died two days later.

Decadent movement

The Decadent movement was a late-19th-century artistic and literary movement, centered in Western Europe, that followed an aesthetic ideology of excess and artificiality. The visual artist Félicien Rops's body of work and Joris-Karl Huysmans's novel Against Nature (1884) are considered the prime examples of the decadent movement. It first flourished in France and then spread throughout Europe and to the United States. The movement was characterized by self-disgust, sickness at the world, general skepticism, delight in perversion and employment of crude humor and a belief in the superiority of human creativity over logic and the natural world.

Ferdinand Kingsley

Ferdinand Kingsley (born 13 February 1988) is an English actor and musician, known for portraying Charles Elmé Francatelli in the ITV biographical drama series Victoria.

Jean Marchand (painter)

Jean Hippolyte Marchand (1883–1940, Paris) was a French cubist painter, printmaker and illustrator with an association with figures of the Bloomsbury Group.

Marchand was born in Paris and studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under Léon Bonnat from 1902 through 1906. In 1910 his painting Still Life with Bananas was exhibited in the 1910 Manet and Post-Impressionism show organized by Roger Fry and then in a second show in 1912 organized by Fry with Clive Bell, both at the Grafton Galleries in London. This led to a kind of adoption of Marchand by the Bloomsbury circle, and his work was bought by the important British collector Samuel Courtauld.

The painter exhibited at the Salon d'Automne, the Salon des Indépendants and the Section d'Or. Marchand also produced woodcut illustrations for Paul Claudel's book, Le Chemin de la Croix, and for Paul Valery's Le Serpent in 1927.

He was married to painter and printmaker Sonia Lewitska (1880-1937).

Julien Leclercq (poet)

Joseph Louis Julien Leclercq (16 May 1865 – 31 October 1901) was a 19th-century French poet and art critic, devoted to Symbolism. Like his close friend Albert Aurier, he contributed regularly to the Mercure de France, for example in September 1890 an obituary of Vincent van Gogh. In the 1890s, while engaged to the Finnish pianist Fanny Flodin (1868–1954), Leclercq helped to organize exhibitions of contemporary art, the most important touring in 1898 in Scandinavia. Then, in March 1901, he succeeded in bringing together the first important Van Gogh-exhibition exclusively based on loans from French collectors or art dealers, in Paris. It was at this retrospective exhibition — hosted by the Bernheim-Jeune Galleries — that Paul Cassirer was introduced to the work of Van Gogh.While preparing a similar Van Gogh-exhibition, now with the support of Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, Leclercq unexpectedly died on 31 October 1901.

Le Barc de Boutteville

The art gallery of Le Barc de Boutteville, at 47 Rue Le Peletier, was one of the few places in Paris in the 1890s where young artists were welcome to present their work to the public, in the years after the death of Theo van Gogh and before Ambroise Vollard opened his gallery.

Le Moderniste Illustré

Le Moderniste Illustré was a short-lived French illustrated weekly published in Paris on Saturdays from 6 April to 28 September 1889. A total of 23 issues were produced on modernist art and literature. The editor-in-chief was André Henry and the managing editor was Albert Aurier. Issues were sold for 20 centimes. The complete run was reprinted in facsimile by Slatkine Reprints in Geneva in 1971.The journal is primarily remembered for Aurier's favourable early critique of the, then obscure, artist Vincent Van Gogh. In Le Moderniste he described Van Gogh's paintings as "tremendous in their ardor, intensity, sunshine." Aurier would later go on to champion the work of Van Gogh in Mercure de France.

Othon Friesz

Achille-Émile Othon Friesz (6 February 1879 – 10 January 1949), who later called himself Othon Friesz, a native of Le Havre, was a French artist of the Fauvist movement.

Posthumous fame of Vincent van Gogh

For a timeline, see Vincent van Gogh chronologyThe fame of Vincent van Gogh began to spread in France and Belgium during the last year of his life, and in the years after his death in the Netherlands and Germany. His friendship with his younger brother Theo was documented in numerous letters they exchanged from August 1872 onwards. The letters were published in three volumes in 1914 by Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, Theo's widow, who also generously supported most of the early Van Gogh exhibitions with loans from the artist's estate. Publication of the letters helped spread the compelling mystique of Vincent van Gogh, the intense and dedicated painter who suffered for his art and died young, throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

His fame reached its first peak in Austria and Germany before World War I (influencing a whole generation of German artists), and at the end of World War I in Switzerland. Due to the economic crisis in Germany and France after 1918, pioneer collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art which included works by Van Gogh were dissolved. Thus, British and American collectors (private as well as public) had the opportunity to acquire first rate works relatively late. The American novelist Irving Stone published an account of Vincent van Gogh's life in 1934 entitled Lust for Life that was largely based on the letters to Theo; this book and later the movie of the same name added to further the artist's fame.

Road with Cypress and Star

Road with Cypress and Star (Dutch: Cypres bij sterrennacht), also known as Country Road in Provence by Night, is an 1890 oil-on-canvas painting by Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. It is the last painting he made in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France.

The painting is part of the large van Gogh collection of the Kröller-Müller Museum, located in the Hoge Veluwe National Park at Otterlo in the Netherlands.

The Volpini Exhibition, 1889

The Volpini Exhibition was an exhibition of paintings arranged by Paul Gauguin and his circle held at the Café des Arts on the Champ de Mars, not far from the official art pavilion of the 1889 Exposition universelle in Paris. A poster and an illustrated catalogue were printed, but the show of "Paintings by the Impressionist and Synthetist Group", held in June and early July 1889, was ignored by the press and proved to be a failure.

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent Willem van Gogh (Dutch: [ˈvɪnsɛnt ˈʋɪləm vɑŋ ˈɣɔx] (listen); 30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterised by bold colours and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. He was not commercially successful, and his suicide at 37 followed years of mental illness and poverty.

Born into an upper-middle-class family, Van Gogh drew as a child and was serious, quiet and thoughtful. As a young man he worked as an art dealer, often travelling, but became depressed after he was transferred to London. He turned to religion and spent time as a Protestant missionary in southern Belgium. He drifted in ill health and solitude before taking up painting in 1881, having moved back home with his parents. His younger brother Theo supported him financially, and the two kept up a long correspondence by letter. His early works, mostly still lifes and depictions of peasant labourers, contain few signs of the vivid colour that distinguished his later work. In 1886, he moved to Paris, where he met members of the avant-garde, including Émile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, who were reacting against the Impressionist sensibility. As his work developed he created a new approach to still lifes and local landscapes. His paintings grew brighter in colour as he developed a style that became fully realised during his stay in Arles in the south of France in 1888. During this period he broadened his subject matter to include series of olive trees, wheat fields and sunflowers.

Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions and though he worried about his mental stability, he often neglected his physical health, did not eat properly and drank heavily. His friendship with Gauguin ended after a confrontation with a razor when, in a rage, he severed part of his own left ear. He spent time in psychiatric hospitals, including a period at Saint-Rémy. After he discharged himself and moved to the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris, he came under the care of the homeopathic doctor Paul Gachet. His depression continued and on 27 July 1890, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a Lefaucheux revolver. He died from his injuries two days later.

Van Gogh was unsuccessful during his lifetime, and was considered a madman and a failure. He became famous after his suicide, and exists in the public imagination as the quintessential misunderstood genius, the artist "where discourses on madness and creativity converge". His reputation began to grow in the early 20th century as elements of his painting style came to be incorporated by the Fauves and German Expressionists. He attained widespread critical, commercial and popular success over the ensuing decades, and is remembered as an important but tragic painter, whose troubled personality typifies the romantic ideal of the tortured artist. Today, Van Gogh's works are among the world's most expensive paintings to have ever sold at auction, and his legacy is honoured by a museum in his name, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which holds the world's largest collection of his paintings and drawings.

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