Girardot Louis-Auguste

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Biography of Girardot Louis-Auguste ( 1856-1933 )

Louis-Auguste Girardot was an Orientalist painter and French lithographer. 

He was born in 1856 in Loulans-les-Forges and had numerous jobs to support himself and continue his drawing studies. A resident of the city of Troyes in 1880, this city gave him a grant which let him to go to Paris. 

He studied at the National Fine Art School of Paris, in the studio of Jean-Léon Gérôme and Paul Dubois. From 1881, he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français and became member of the Société nationale des Beaux-Arts. 

At the Salon of 1887, the French government purchased the painting « Ruth and Booz » currently exhibited at the Fine Arts Museum of Troyes. This recognition made him earn a medal, the Marie Bashkirtseff’s Prize. This was for Girardot a brilliant year, as he also won a travel grant which permitted him to go to Spain, Algeria and Morocco. These regions led him to the path of Orientalism and inspired him new compositions. In Tanger, Girardot met again his friend and painter Jules-Alexis Muenier, another grant laureate. Together, they made a journey to Tetouan. 

The discovery of the Maghreb was an important turning point in his artistic career. He dedicated his painting to the representation of  Moroccan daily life, Orientalist landscapes and portraits of Moroccan women. 

Subsequently, Louis-Auguste Girardot was a part of the Universal Exhibitions of Paris in 1889 and 1900 where he won silver medals. For the Universal Exhibition of 1900, he created a lithographed poster entitled « Andalousia in the time of the Moors » and organized an exhibition in the Algerian Pavilion for Orientalist painters.  

Girardot obtained recognition when the French government made him a knight of the Legion of honor in 1903. He chose as godfather his master Jean-Léon Gérôme. 

His participation in the Colonial Exhibitions of 1906, 1922 and 1931 shows his dynamic artistic activity. This abundance was also visible by his presence for forty years at the Salon de la Société nationale des Beaux-Arts where he became a member. 

In 1907, he founded with Etienne Dinet, Victor Prouvé and Jean-Adolphe Chudant the Union provinciale des arts décoratifs. It took place during the Salon des peintres orientalistes français, on Girardot’s initiative. 

On April 1911, he was appointed as grand officer of the Nichan el Anouar Order. 

Thanks to his well-established reputation, he received as a student the Polish painter and writer Stanislaw Wyspiański. 

He died on April 1933 after a brilliant career and a prolific production. 

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