‘An Ardent Suitor’
Oil on canvas
22” x 18”
Emile Auguste Pinchart
French 1842 – 1924
Emile Auguste Pinchart was a French painter of portraits and genre and followed the tradition of an idealised vision of life during La Belle Epoque, in the style of Tissot and his followers. His light and natural palette reflects a sentiment of delightful charm. A pupil of Gerome, he exhibited at the Salon de Paris, obtaining an honourable mention in 1883 and a third-class medal in 1884.
An Ardent Suitor is a delightful study of a young matelot wooing a pretty young lady. Dressed in a splendid scarlet frocked-coat, matching breeches and fine tricorn hat, the young man, with his cheek resting jauntily on one hand and the other gently placed outstretched on the table, gazes adoringly at the demure young lady. His token of love – the bouquet of flowers sits on the stool, waiting to be accepted by the object of his desire. The young lady is elegantly dressed, at the height of fashion, in a pink striped skirt, edged with lace netting, her bustled jacket neatly fastened with a hint of décolletage showing beneath the ribbon of her bonnet. She is shyly looking away, her hands clasped a short distance from his waiting hand, one foot, in its’ dainty shoe is awkwardly turned inwards.
The scene is one of innocent courtship, the doves on the terrace a symbol of love and peace, set against the plein air backdrop of the harbour, with the mast and sail of the moored ship just visible behind the young couple. The moment portrayed is a powerful one, with the shy young lady not daring to meet her suitor’s gaze, leaving the viewer to only guess what happens next – does she succumb to his tender advances and accept the flowers or does she modestly decline him, before he disappointedly sets off on his next voyage. You have to admire his confident demeanour, but then, faint heart never won fair lady!
Emile Auguste Pinchart intermittently left his native France for Geneva, where he held workshops there on posters and reproductions, under the name of Atelier-Pinchart. As well as exhibiting at the Salon de Paris, he was elected a member of the Societe des Artistes Francais in 1905.
His works can be found in Fecamp Museum.