16 April, 2024


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ACADEMY (Académies): Charles Auguste Guillaume Steuben – France – 1825


Charles Auguste Guillaume Steuben,
La Force (STRENGTH), Created in 1825.
Oil on canvas 140 x 178 cm. Quimper Fine Arts Museum, France 

Charles Auguste Guillaume Steuben (1788 – 1856), was a German-born French Romantic painter, art teacher and lithographer who was very active during the Napoleonic Era (France).

He had a strong passion for painting and the academic male figurative. He was a very close friend and artistic mentor to Eugène Delacroix, the leader of the French Romantic school of painting. Steuben painted him several times, and the two were well known friends in Paris.

Steuben was also part of French Romantic school, which replaced classicism in French painting. His painting joined art with politics in his works. The subjects of his historical paintings supported historical change. He painted mainly in sharp color contrasts, heavy solid contours and clear outlines. The extreme portrayal of this style led many contemporary artists – including Prud’hon – to create a romanticized counter movement. They loved the dark softness and gentle color gradations of the various Italian Renaissance painters such as Leonardo da Vinci and Antonio da Correggio, whose works they studied.

La Force is a painting of the biblical David taking a rest on his journeys. The model was a student and assistant to Steuben.