Victoria L. Meyers

In this discussion I examine the painting The First Communion, also known as The Bride, an oil on canvas completed in 1896 by Eugène Carrière, a French Symbolist painter, who lived from 1849 to 1906. The painting was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1963 as a bequest of Chester Dale, an American banker and patron of the arts. It is located in the European 19th century gallery, among the works of other Symbolist artists, including the sculptor Rodin, who was a close friend of Carrière. Carrière originally trained as a commercial lithographer and resolved to become an artist at 19, after admiring works by Raphael and Rubens in Germany. He studied under Cabanel in the 1870s at the École des Beaux-Arts. Carrière had a great admiration for many of the old masters, and his artistic style began in a naturalist vein, but as it progressed…

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