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Galerie Sommerlath

"The Opera Singer" Expressionist Oil Portrait on Panel by Maurice Saint-Lou

"The Opera Singer" Expressionist Oil Portrait on Panel by Maurice Saint-Lou

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Expressionism, a revolutionary art movement of the early 20th century, aimed to elicit emotional responses, often exposing the harshest and most tumultuous aspects of the human condition and psyche. With this oil portrait of a lyrical singer, the artist uses distortion and exaggeration to present a subjective reality. Opera is anchored in a universe where human passions are unleashed. Love, tragedy, and death are often at the heart of the intrigues.

We can observe the vivid and distorted use of color and lines. The painter employs this expressive technic to suggest the hidden internalized world of the interpreter, capturing both her physical presence and concentration. A long face carved with a billhook, asymmetrical, with the contours finely highlighted in black, and the open mouth, whose lips are powerfully painted in red, occupies the upper part of the painting. At the same time, the rest of the body is cut just above the thighs. She holds a musical score in one hand.

In an economy of details, the artist successfully infuses the body's language with an astonishing intensity. A red evening dress, eloquent fingers, blond hair, the fringe of which would almost have moved under a tumultuous interpretation engaging voice and body. The eyes are wide open, the mouth grimacing. No jewelry appears on her immaculate skin. The artist probably chose to insist and direct our attention precisely to this moment of embodiment, without being distracted by accessories, sober background reflecting light to keep directing our attention to the subject.

The profound emotional upheaval, the soul's descent into the abyss of heartache, and the crucible of genuine passion - present themselves to us almost intimidatingly so that we can dissect and confront them, having received the image like a punch to the heart and in the gut, in front of the raw power embedded in the frame.

It is worth considering the role of color in stimulating our souls as viewers. Vibrant red becomes a metaphor for visceral passion. Like the haunting voice of the opera singer, the work penetrates deep into the psyche. The tension exuded initiates a back-and-forth dynamic with our perspectives, showcasing the power of art as a catalyst for introspection and inviting us to confront the mirror of our most intimate realities.

Maurice Saint-Lou was born on 24 October 1897 in Paris, France. He is known for painting and acting. He is known for L'ennemi sans visage (1946) and Der Ruf Tsum Leben (1946). He died in 1961.

PERIOD: 1940-1949
CONDITION: Excellent
MEASUREMENTS: Height: 37.25" Width: 26.75" Depth: 1.5"
MATERIAL: Canvas, Oil
CREATOR: Maurice Saint-Lou

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