The Scandal of M. Alphonse Legros

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Monday 1 October 2018, 4.30PM

Speaker(s): Professor Liz Prettejohn, University of York

In 1996 the art historian Michael Fried wrote: 'Nothing more reveals the extent to which art history has still not come to terms with the situation of advanced French painting in the early 1860s than the obscurity surrounding the name of Legros.' More than twenty years later, not much has changed -- except that, since Legros lived in London from 1863 until his death in 1911, one might be tempted to add: 'Nothing more reveals the extent to which art history has still not come to terms with the situation of advanced British painting in the later nineteenth century than the obscurity surrounding the name of Legros.' This paper asks why Legros has remained in obscurity despite his centrality to the art-worlds of both London and Paris in the later nineteenth century, his commitment to radical politics, and the sheer quality of his painting.
 
Image: Alphonse Legros, The Communion, 1865, oil on canvas, 88.9 x 76.2 cm, William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow 

Location: BS/005 Bowland Auditorium