Gustave Maincent

French Artist; (1848-1897)

Gustave Émile Maincent was born on March 18, 1848 in Batignolles-Monceau 25, rue Saint-Louis (now rue Nollet in the 17th district of Paris). He is the son of Charles Eugène Maincent, private director of the school and family fund, and of Catherine Élisa Césarine Obry, without profession. He has an older brother, Eugène Maincent (1840-1805). Gustave Maincent trained at the Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he was a student in the studio of Isidore Pils, and at the Imperial School of Drawing. In 1865, during the distribution of the prizes of the Imperial School of Drawing in the large hall of the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, he received the first prize “Drawing – Living plant”.

Specialized in landscape painting, he is described as “little master of the banks of the Seine” In 1883, he was contacted by Anna Judic, a fashionable actress, who asked him to decorate the walls of the greenhouse in her Parisian Mansion, which she had built by the architect Jacques Drevet. Maincent cast a charming fantasy on the walls where he produced great panoramas of Saint-Germain, Bougival and Chatou that form a succession of fresh landscapes, and give the illusion of the countryside in the heart of Paris”. Problems of inheritance required the resale and liquidation of the hotel, in 1884, which allowed the chroniclers to discover the works of Gustave Maincent and to establish his notoriety. In particular, the journalist Émile Blavet, recounts his visit to the hotel in his article “Intérieur d’Artiste” dated 12th December,1884, as well it appeared in a collection of his chronicles entitled La Vie Parisienne. Having acquired notoriety, the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, Rue Laffitte , organized an exhibition of thirty-eight of his paintings to be auctioned off, by Maitre Tual Auctioneer, at the Drouot hotel. The objective was to establish a rating for it, as explained by Charles Pillet in his chronicle of the Hôtel Drouot on 2nd January, 1885.

He moved in 1894 to settle on the island of Chatou at the Fournaise house, where he painted more and more especially in all weathers on the banks of the Seine. His work became highly appreciated by collectors for its finesse and softness, reminiscent of the chromatic palette of Jean-Baptiste Corot. The sudden end of the painter, of a heart attack at 49, in full artistic maturity, suddenly put an end to a promising career. Long-ill hearted, Gustave Maincent died of a heart attack on 2nd October, 1897 on the train route from Paris-Saint-Lazare line to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Rueil-Malmaison Station. The funeral service was celebrated in the Père-Lachaise Chapel, in the presence of personalities. A speech was delivered by Antoine Guillemet. He is buried in the 52nd division of the Père-Lachaise Cemetery.

The architect and civil engineer Émile Blaise owned more than sixty paintings purchased for a total sum of 18,480 fr. This collection went on sale as part of a major solo exhibition of the painter, with sixty-six works hanging in the room of La Bodinière. The exhibition takes place from 2nd June to 25th June 1896 with a vernissage on 1st June. Jules Chéret graciously produced the invitation card. Musee Fournaise pays homage to this artist who died prematurely. For the first time, 40 paintings were brought together thanks to loans from private collectors and the Musée d’Orsay. Ile Des Impressionnistes Exposition 1st May – 1st November 2015. Gustave Maincent “Le Petit Corot Des Bords De Seine”.

The record price for this artist at auction is $37,800.00 USD for THE CHAMPS ÉLYSÉES WITH THE TUILERIES AND THE ARC DE TRIUMPHE IN THE DISTANCE, sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2020. 


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