Channelling Gerome + Ingres

Picnic, Oil on Belgian Linen, 52″H x 26″W

Anthony Ackrill descends from a long lineage of painters trained at theFlorenceAcademy. (M Gallery is fortunate enough to have a number of our painters who have trained and taught there including: Ryan S Brown, Magda Almy, + Matthew Almy).

FlorenceAcademypainters can trace their direct heritage back via Daniel Graves, Richard Lack, Ives Gammel, William Paxton, Jean Leon Gerome, Paul DelaRoche, Antoine-Jean, Baron Gros, Jacques Louis David, Francois Boucher, Francois Lemoyne, Louis Galloche, to Louis De Buollogne (born in 1654 and to become the first painter to the king ofFrance)

Tree Lover, Oil on Belgian Linen, 44″H x 44″W

Ingres, David, Gros, and DelaRoche. This golden mean has traversed centuries: Sometimes barely hanging on by a thread, sometimes providing great structural help for its painters, sometimes stifling rigidity which spawned other movements such as Carolus-Duran’s atelier (which trained John Singer Sargent).

TheFlorenceAcademyand its descendants have shaped much of what is regarded as competence in the art world today. Anthony Ackrill reflects the training and inspiration to be found in that Academic Structure and builds upon it with great mastery.

Anthony Ackrill

I was with Anthony recently visiting his studio and picking up works for M gallery. Ackrill’s Studio residence is inGainesvillein a delightful oldFloridaneighborhood, replete with moss clad giant live oaks, bushes laden with Gardenias, laundry drying on the neighbor’s clothes line across the back fence. Kids bikes meandered down the street, a pick up truck rattled by, a metal swing creaked with a gentle rocking. I was charmed.

His studio contains an expanse of north light which illuminated his gentle curl-encircled face creating an aura of beatification. I fully expected wings to emerge from his shoulders as he rummaged around his quiet wooden labyrinth of storage, easels, stretchers, paints, books, studies, model stands, and frames. The works he extracted from the depths of the studio storage channeled Gerome + Ingres. Not as if they were historical reproductions, but rather remarkable advancements of the masters’ knowledge, catapulted into the here and now. The three works I selected: Picnic, The Tree Lover and Idyll are classic Ackrill; luminous, wise, whimsical, and sensual. They all depict life, death, sex, humor. Complete Zen Moments encased in canvas, pigment, and frame, these historically significant paintings are timeless, yet very contemporary.

Come and see them.

They are so very remarkable, so very contemporary, and so very ancient. More fun than one should be allowed to have in a lifetime.

Idyl, Oil on Belgian Linen, 21″H x 47″W

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About mgalleryoffineart

Owner of M Gallery of Fine Art in historic Charleston, SC
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