A beautiful woman sits at an open window, gazing down at a small bird who has landed nearby in this serene portrait by Charles Levier. Warm orange tones are played off their complements in shades of blue, the artist utilizing several different layers of oils to create a subtle and relaxed view of a spring day near the sea. Beyond the window a small chapel sits on a peninsula, surrounded tranquil blue waters.
This work, like many of Levier's, belongs to the French figurative movement of the Glorious Thirty (Les Trente Glorieuses) - the golden period of thirty years after WWII which were a time of great hope and prosperity in France. Inspired by Hollywood cinema, Charles Levier sought harmony in composition and purity of color and form. His said that his creations represented "a light and delicate world, of dark and subtle shades and colors."
Levier worked in a somewhat abstracted, cubist style. Additionally he often employed the French technique of "cloisonnism" (after the French for "partition"), a style of post-Impressionist painting with bold and flat forms separated by dark contours, also seen in this work. The term was coined by critic Edouard Dujardin on the occasion of the Salon des Indépendants, in March 1888 and was commonly used by artists like Émile Bernard, Louis Anquetin, Paul Gauguin, Paul Sérusier, and others beginning in the late 19th century. The name evokes the technique of cloisonné, where wires (cloisons or "compartments") are soldered to the body of the piece, filled with powdered glass, and then fired. Many of the same painters also described their works as Synthetism, a closely related movement.
A striking work by the artist, Levier has employed classic post-Impressionist techniques alongside more modern forms, resulting in a timeless portrait of beauty.
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