Christian Henri Roullier

This nineteenth century painter was born 1845 in Lyon, France. Roullier was a small child when he was brought to San Francisco with the Gold Rush. He later returned to France to study in Paris France with Leon Gerome, as did many other artists from around Europe and United States. Roullier first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1887. Then moved to San Francisco . Little known about him as an artist and his art work is very rare due to unknown reasons. He was a member of Bohemian Club in San Francisco. He also exhibited at San Francisco Art Association in 1888 and at the San Francisco Institute in the late nineteenth century. His work is held in Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford University and the Bohemian Club, SF. Farhat Art Museum, Beirut Lebanon. Roullier died in Paris in 1926.
His rare works include figure studies, portraits, and landscapes.he was a member of Bohemian Club. Exh: SFAA, 1876, 1882, 1884, 1893; Paris Salon, 1878-1914; Calif. State Fair, 1883; Mechanics’ Inst. (SF), 1883, 1893; Salon d’Hiver (Paris), 1926 (memorial). In: Stanford Art Gallery (Josiah Stanford); Bohemian Club (Tavernier in the Grove ).

Many of the nineteenth artists who immigrated to the United States from Europe had left large number of their work behind and some who lived in San Francisco prior to the 1906 earthquake lost their work to the destruction of the 1906 earthquake fire. This example by C.H. Roullier in the Farhat Art Museum is a classic example of nineteenth century romanticism genre.

This painting is an oil on canvas measuring 28X21 inches. Depicted in this painting is a young woman holding a young bird who seems to have fallen from it’s nest. The surroundings are of early Spring where a parasol is seen abandoned among the spring flowers and grasses. In this composition, the artist makes the connection between the young woman with rosy cheeks, the newly overgrown spring grasses and the helpless nestling giving the mothering/nurturing subject to the painting.
Edan Hughes, “Artists in California, 1786-1940”
Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs (Bénézit, E); Ferdinand Perret Files; California Historical Society.


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