This fascinating book studies Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant (1845–1902), one of the great Orientalist painters of the Third Republic in France. Renowned during his time but little known today, Benjamin-Constant created massive architectural compositions based on travels to Spain and Morocco, in which he set fierce-looking Moors and dispassionate odalisques. His history paintings, based on stories from the Bible and Byzantine history, were the culmination of his ventures into Orientalism, and his sparkling palette resulted in wonderfully chromatic and beautiful works. Benjamin-Constant also stands out as one of the era’s great painters of decorative cycles, from his work in Paris at the Opéra Comique and the Gare d’Orsay, to the Capitole in Toulouse. Generously illustrated and written by an international team of specialists on late-19th-century French art, this is the first book to focus on this captivating figure, offering new and unpublished research into his life and practices in his studio and at the Paris Salon.
Distributed for Editions Hazan, Paris