16 April, 2024


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ACADEMY (Académies): Bernard-Romain Julien – France – 1830

Bernard-Romain Julien was a French academic artist. Well known for his athletic muscle, Greco-Roman inspired male figurative work; and a well accomplished arts of Female portraits and sculpture (busts). He was born in the Spanish border city of Bayonne. The town bordered Spain and shared various cultural similarities. He then moved to Paris, first as a student and then later as an accomplished artist. He specialized in portraits, drawings, and lithographs. 

His works captured the muscular form in movement, illustrating the masculine man and the definition of their bodies. Subjects for art pieces were military or movers. Movers in Paris at this time were in shape and had a lot of work. They either moved furniture, carried ladies and gentleman, in horseless foot carriages, or unloaded cargo brought into the city. Many of these men were also “journey men craftspeople,” who fixed things or did actual construction work. Construction workers of this period were normally in shape or thin and muscular. 

Models were normally found through advertisements in the paper or flyers hung around the city or the local art schools and salons. Many men who had the form would go directly to the art school to see if they could find work. Bernard-Romain Julien was also a professor of art and taught both male and female students. He studied at the famous École des Beaux-Arts, in Paris.

He exhibited some paintings and drawings at the Paris Salon between the years 1833 to 1850. Then traveling to America, Germany, and Italy for commissions and inspiration. In 1854, he made a full-bust portrait of American President George Washington, and it was based on the portait works of the famous American portrait artist, Gilbert Stuart. His lithograph work was immense and he was a favored among female clients of the wealthy persuasion, and women intellectuals who wrote books and wanted their likeness inside the pages of their creation.