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Lévy-Dhurmer, Lucien


LÉVY-DHURMER, LUCIEN (1865–1953), French symbolist painter. Lévy-Dhurmer was born in Algiers. He trained as a lithographer and decorator; among his finest works in this genre are the two panels painted for the furniture designer Majorelle, now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York. From 1887 to 1895 Lévy-Dhurmer was artistic director of a decorative stoneware factory at Golfe-Juan, France, but after a visit to Italy he decided to follow a career of painting. An exhibition of his work at Galérie George Petit, Paris, established his reputation. His principal subjects were mythical themes, but he was also a gifted portrait painter, and was greatly in demand in this genre and was also a decorative muralist. Many of his most famous works were inspired by the music of Beethoven, Debussy, and Fauré, as well as by the Mediterranean in general. He was much admired for his original color sense, especially in his pastels. Lévy-Dhurmer is considered one of the most gifted of the French symbolist painters. An important collection of Lévy-Dhurmer's work is in the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris. His work has been greatly admired in recent years, as part of the revival of interest in 19th-century painting in general and symbolism in particular.

[Charles Samuel Spencer]

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