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Champs de Course, A Day at the Racetrack

by Biais
YEAR:
1897
SIZE:
21 x 42 inches (53 1/4 x 106 3/4 cm)
REFERENCE NUMBER:
4036

DESCRIPTION:

The son of a rich public notary, Maurice Biais was a socialite and a dandy on the Parisian scene, as well as a talented artist. In 1911, he married the performer Jane Avril, with whom he had a doomed, short-lived union. He designed numerous illustrations, graphics and posters including one for La Maison Moderne, for whom he also designed decorative objects. Here, much in the style of Sem (Georges Goursat), he captures a scene between races at a track. This was a work that was exhibited in New York City in 1901 at “the little gallery of Williams on Fifth Avenue, near Thirty-seventh street,” as part of an exhibition of the artist’s work. The New York Times art critic reviewing the show on October 19, 1901, describes a “long frieze-like picture called ‘Champs de Course’ . . . it is a procession of thin race horses mounted by jockeys; the faces of the latter are caricatures. Perhaps the underlying idea is a design for wall paper to be placed in the houses and fine stables of lovers of the turf” (New York Times, October 19, 1901).

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