HENRI PAUL ROYER (1869-1938)
Oil on panel; signed lower left
In antique gilt ripple frame
This painting offers a charming counterpoint to the ephemeral modern world of Whatsapp and Instagram. In those days, correspondence was a discreet, considered and conscientious business. We are drawn into this picture from the looser outer brushwork to the beautifully fine detail of her features – her ear is a tour de force in itself – and remain as avidly fixed upon her as she is on her letters. Although one has to say if the latest missive is from an admirer, one doesn’t rate his chances.
Henri Paul Royer was active as a portraitist and genre painter, as well as a draughtsman and illustrator. After a period of study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he completed his training at the Académie Julian, where he studied with Jules Lefebvre, François Flemeng and Louis Devilly. He exhibited frequently at the Salon des Artistes Français from 1890 onwards.
He won a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1900, the same year in which he was admitted into the Légion d’Honneur. He also worked as an illustrator, providing images for the novels of Guy de Maupassant, and travelled extensively throughout Europe, as well as in North and South America. Paintings by Royer are today in the museums of Angers, Quimper, Brest, Nancy and elsewhere.
Paul Henri Royer’s work has been offered at auction multiple times, the record price being 14,316 USD for Soiree sold at Dorotheum, Vienna in 2019.