Online Encyclopedia

ARY SCHEFFER (1795-1858)

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 316 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ARY

SCHEFFER (1795-1858)  , French painter of Dutch extraction, was born at Dort on the loth of
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February 1745 . After the early
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death of his
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father, a poor painter, Ary was taken to Paris and placed in the studio of Guerin by his
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mother, a woman of
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great energy and character . The moment at which Scheffer
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left Guerin coincided with the commencement of the Romantic
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movement . He had little sympathy with the directions given to it by either of its most conspicuous representatives, Sigalon, Delacroix or Gericault, and made various tentative efforts—" Gaston de
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Foix " (1824), " Suliot
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Women " (1827)—before he found his own path . Immediately after the
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exhibition of the last-named
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work he turned to Byron and Goethe, selecting from Faust a long series of subjects which had an extraordinary vogue . Of these, we may mention " Margaret at her Wheel "; " Faust Doubting "; " Margaret at the Sabbat "; " Margaret Leaving Church "; the " Garden Walk "; and lastly, perhaps the most popular of all, " Margaret at the Well." The two"
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Mignons " appeared in 1836; and " Francesca da
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Rimini," which is on the whole Scheffer's best work, belongs to the same period . He now turned to religious subjects: " Christus Consolator " (1836) was followed by " Christus Remunerator," " The Shepherds Led by the
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Star " (1837), " The Magi Laying Down their Crowns," " Christ in the Garden of Olives," " Christ bearing his
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Cross," " Christ Interred " (1845), " St Augustine and'Monica " (1846), after which he ceased to exhibit, but, shut up in his studio, continued to produce much which was first seen by the
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outer
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world after his death, which took place at
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Argenteuil on the 15th of
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June 1858 . At the
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posthumous exhibition of his
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works there figured the " Sorrows of the Earth," and the "
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Angel Announcing the Resurrection," which he had left unfinished . Amongst his numerous portraits those of La Fayette, Beranger, Lamartine and
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Marie Amelie were the most noteworthy . His reputation, much shaken by this posthumous exhibition, was further undermined by the sale of the Paturle Gallery, which contained many of his most celebrated achievements; the charm and facility of their composition could not save them from the condemnation provoked by their poor and earthy colour and vapid sentiment . Scheffer, who married the widow of General Baudrand, was only made
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commander of the Legion of Honour in 1848—that is, after he had wholly withdrawn from the
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Salon . His
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brother
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Henri, born at the Hague on the 27th of September 1798, was also a fertile painter .

See

Vitet's
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notice (1861) prefixed to Bingham's publication of works of A . Scheffer; Etex, Ary Scheffer; Mrs Grote,
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Life of A . Scheffer (i86o) .

End of Article: ARY SCHEFFER (1795-1858)
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