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Gustave Jean Jacquet is known among scholars as one of William Bouguereau's top students. Although Jacquet's subject matter was not of peasant girls or mythological scenes like Bouguereau himself or many of his other students, Jacquet quickly gained fame and notoriety for his technical virtuoso, his paintings of women, both strong and delicate, as well as historical genre scenes of women and soldiers in 16th, 17th, and 18th century costume. He painted large works on canvas with life size figures, though more often enjoyed working on smaller pieces on panel. His models were not always classically beautiful, but they were always vibrant and full of life.
Born May 25, 1846 in Paris....
Although a cataloging of his paintings has never been undertaken, he was quite prolific with roughly 200 unique works coming up for public auction since the mid 1980s. It is surprising so little is known about this productive and well-established artist.
Arsene Alexandre in Jacquet's obituary put it best:
Here a fine painter, a gentleman, and a delicate artist disappears. These losses are particularly sensitive in such times as ours, where the great figures of yesterday are rare and the famous figures of tomorrow are not yet defined nor completely devoted.
We were not just to Gustave Jaquet. After great success, we pretended not to see him, this painter of elegance, only as an outdated teacher who "had his time". In truth, there was no career more constant, or a better painter in the technical sense as Gustave Jacquet....Jacquet was not rough, nor loose, nor did he want to appear ignorant of his job. He must have had great courage to devote himself to the difficult task of painting grace with originality and to do it well while, disdaining what passes easily to others as original.
Gustave Jacquet had an ideal of kindness. He did not think the paint was made to terrify or provoke. These scenes can move us deeply by many different...