(b Boston 1849; d Paris 1903) American Painter. Along with Frederick Arthur Bridgman, Edwin Lord Weeks is one of the best known American Orientalists painters. Weeks' parents were wealthy merchants from Boston who supported their son's great interest in travel and painting. In 1874 Weeks journeyed to Paris intent on joining the studio of Jean-Leon Gérôme. However whilst waiting for his application to be accepted he started to study under Léon Bonnat, who instilled in his pupil the need for absolute realism and a love of colour. Weeks' experimental use of brilliant colours and daring brushwork owes a debt to Bonnat's teacher, the Spanish painter Mariano Fortuny y Marsal. The early enthusiasm that Weeks showed for painting in Spain and Morocco was consistant with Fortuny's example. Priding himself on his use of colour, he describes himself as a 'colourist' rather than as an 'Orientalist', choosing to define his work in terms of its artistic treatment rather than its subject matter. (Credit: Christie's, London, 19th Century European Art including Orientalist and Spanish Art, July 2, 2008, lot 83)
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