Description: signed Firmin-Girard (lower left) oil on canvas
Dimensions: measurements 28 1/2 by 40 in. alternate measurements 72.5 by 101.5 cm
Provenance: Private Collection, Belgium
Notes: Charlieu is a small town in the department of the Loire. It was the home town of the artist's wife, Sabine. Firmin-Girard moved to Paris in the early 1850s and attended the École des Beaux Arts. By the age of sixteen he was also studying in the ateliers of Gleyre and Gérôme. He made his debut at the Salon in 1859 when three works were accepted by the Jury; a genre painting, a historical subject and a painting entitled Saint Sebastien. Two years later, his Death of Priamus won him the second Prix de Rome and he received a third-class medal in the Salon of 1863. On this occasion, his entry and medal-winner Après le bal was purchased by Princess Mathilde, which resulted in the painter securing valuable commissions and prestige. At the 1874 Salon, Firmin-Girard was awarded a second-class medal and later, in 1896, he was decorated with the Légion d'honneur. Firmin-Girard drew his inspiration from the fashionable themes so admired by the haute Bourgeoisie. His canvases display his technical competence and facility with historical and genre subjects, as well as portraits, landscapes, and particularly flower paintings. Le Marché, Charlieu is a fine example of the artist's work, and reveals an accomplished use of both perspective and color.
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