A lovely and highly decorative way to divide space in your home is by using a stand-alone screen. At Graham Smith Antiques we have a rare treat of a screen for any one looking to transform their home in this way. The panels are illustrated by a nowadays little known French painter, Paul Frenzeny (1840 - 1902).
Frenzeny travelled to North America in the 1860's to serve under Marshall Bazaine, a commander of the French army in Mexico, and famous for the surrender of the last organised French army to the Prussians in the Franco-Prussian war (1870).
Frenzeny was commissioned by Harper's Weekly to produce artistic observations of his travels across America during 1860's. Frenzeny’s growing success as a painter provided him with opportunities for an adventurous life whilst dedicating his time to painting and illustrating commissions.
Very little else is known about the painter after he left America. He ceased painting for publications, so we can only observe and interpret his adventures through his paintings done whilst on the roads of America during the late 19th Century and through work such as can be found on this screen.
The fluent detail and expression displayed through Frenzeny's brush strokes, shown in the photograph below, is a delight for the eye and ample evidence of his painting skills. His delicate use of colour and light suggest an admiration for his subjects. This screen is both beautiful and an insight into the life of a French 19th Century painter, who without paintings surviving in screens such as these, would have been forgotten through time.
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