Clarence Montfort Gihon(1871-1929) American .A Street Scene, Montmartre,Paris



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“Clarence Montfort Gihon

(1871-1929) American

Title A Street Scene, Montmartre,Paris

Category 20th Century

Medium & Size Oil on canvas.25×21 in.Framed size: 31×25 in. Indistinctly signed lower left. circa.1910


Clarence Montfort Gihon painted many memorable paintings of Parisian life at the turn of this century. He was born in Philadelphia on the 25th November 1871 and received his formal art training in the United States. When he was 23 years of age he travelled to France to further his studies. Among his most notable art masters were William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), Jean-Paul Laurens (1838-1921) and Benjamin Constant (1845-1902) at the Academie Julian. Having completed his studies, he exhibited at the Paris Salon. He was also a noted illustrator and designed many wonderful sets for the theater. Gihon fell in love with France, especially Paris, where he was to spend the next 35 years of his life before returning to the United States. He is represented in numerous collections both in France and the United States. There is a personal kind of Impressionism in this superlative vision of everyday life. No picture could be less topographical and yet, by the empathy of his genius, Gihon set the spectator down in Paris in a way that leaves no doubt as to where he is, and at the same time creating lovely intricacies of colour. Gihon delighted in “the people’s Paris.”” In this charming painting, he conveys the very essence of Parisian life at the turn of the century, capturing the elegance of a wealthy society, beautiful ladies, shopkeepers, etc. The precision of drawing has gone to be replaced by a shimmering envelope of colour and yet attention to detail is not lost, but conveyed in an Impressionist manner.

This fascinating painting of buildings in Montmartre with restaurants and advertising posters shows all the trademarks of Gihon.It is interesting to note the central poster in this painting -Macaroni La Lune ‘the moon’ is an iconic image from the late 1920’s. Florence Henri‘s 1929 black& white photograph of the packet and spaghetti, and the ‘La Lune’ advertising poster are still in reproduction today and collected worldwide.


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