Blaise Alexandre Desgoffe

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Biography of Blaise Alexandre Desgoffe ( 1830-1901 )

Blaise Alexandre Desgoffe started his apprenticeship at the Fine Art School of Paris in 1852, in Hippolyte Flandrin’s studio. He was also a student of the great academic painter, William Adolphe Bouguereau. After learning history painting, he exhibited genre paintings and still lifes for the first time at the Salon of French Artists in 1854.

At the Salon of French Artists, Desgoffe regularly exhibited exceptionally realistic still lifes with precious objects. He became very well known for his sumptuous paintings that showed his virtuosity and his capacity to organize harmonious compositions similarly to the Dutch 17th century’s still lifes. He was frequently compared to the greatest Dutch still life painters: Willem Kalf and Pieter Claesz.

The artist received numerous awards at the Salon of French Artists and at the Paris Salon from 1857 to 1882. His talent for still life was unanimously recognized. The critic Roger Ballu, in his book Painting at the 1880’s Salon, wrote: « the word skill seems to be made up for his painting; the visitors feel that nobody can go farther in trompe l’œil ». The artist was considered as the best French still life painter of his time.

Most of his 1860s paintings were based on 16th century objects from the Louvre Museum. These sublime gold and silver items and rock crystal vases came from the Apollon Gallery in the Louvre. In the 1870s, he added some Chinese, Japanese and  Greek elements, probably on demand from his clients. 

This still life represents a luxurious composition with 16th and 17th century pieces from the Louvre Museum: a splendid ewer in agate, a painted enamel dish depicting David and Abigail, an engraved quartz woman's bust, a crystal fountain and an aventurine box from the Mazarine collection.

Desgoffe had a great influence on still life painting in France and in the USA, more particularly on William Merrit Chase and Willian Michael Harnett.

32 avenue Marceau
75008 Paris, France
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