Expressive "broken" portraits with a palette knife, painted from photographs
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As a favorite artist of Stalin, Alexander Gerasimov secretly painted pictures in the genre of "nude"
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What was the life of the citizens of Pompeii before the legendary volcanic eruption: Pictures of Joseph Comans

The secrets of history at all times attracted and attracted creative people, especially artists. Who, no matter how they, managed to convey to our time the idea of ​​how humankind lived many centuries ago. At one time, fascinated by the excavations of the ancient Pompeii, the Belgian artist Pierre Olivier Joseph Comans created a whole series of works, where he reflected the life of its inhabitants to a terrible tragedy.

Antique themes of creativity Joseph Comans
Pierre Olivier Joseph Comans (Pierre Olivier Joseph Coomans, 1816-1889) is a Belgian genre and historical scene artist originally from Brussels. He was a student of famous masters of the Netherlands school of painting, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. An important role in the formation of creative potential was played by the young artist’s passion for travel.

He traveled extensively around the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, visited Algeria, Morocco and Arabia. He traveled around the artist and all of Europe, even visited the Crimea. And from everywhere he brought sketches, sketches, paintings, reflecting the life of the peoples living there. These trips have greatly expanded his outlook, which is always very important for the painter of the historical genre.

One day, visiting Italy, the 40-year-old painter became interested in the excavations of the ancient Pompeii, which were led by Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli. And since that time the ancient themes became the basis of the work of Joseph Comans, brought him recognition, fame and money. Repeatedly his canvases were exhibited in the Paris Salon, where they had great success with both the public and collectors. Many were attracted by the history of the ancient Roman city, buried under a layer of volcanic ash as a result of the eruption of Vesuvius in the first century of our era. And especially the life of the inhabitants of the city, which the painter tried to masterfully create on his canvases.

Everyday scenes, women and their touching children, as well as charming portraits of young beauties in exotic costumes and interiors – the artist painstakingly scribed to the smallest details, trying to convey the atmosphere of that distant era with historical accuracy.

The artist during his lifetime made a brilliant career, and his creations quickly gained their fans among European and especially American collectors. And at auctions, his work always had its customers, both during life and after death.
Joseph Comans died in 1889 in Boulogne-Billancourt in the western suburbs of Paris.

I would also like to note that the master had two daughters Eve (Heva Coomans, 1860-1939) and Diana (Diana Coomans, 1861-1952), who followed in her father’s footsteps and became artists. The theme of their work was the same as that of Joseph Comans. Both lived and worked long in America, where they ended their life path.

Continuing the theme of ancient themes, the story of the compatriot Joseph Comans Willem van Hacht, who in the 17th century created a unique series of paintings in the form of kunstkameras.

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