ALEXANDRE LOUIS JACOB
Alexandre Louis Jacob (1876-1972) was born in Paris. He undertook his formal artistic training at the Académie des Beaux-Arts with Eugene Claude (1841–1923). Jacob lived just outside Paris in Asnières-sur-Seine, situated on the banks of the river Seine. The Seine and the rural countryside around this area is the subject of much of Jacob's landscapes. Jacob is best known for his atmospheric and luminous landscapes. He gained his rare understanding and love for nature through studied inspection, transferring his observations skillfully on to canvas. His masterful evocation of light, atmosphere, colour and sense of place are remarkable and have a true ability to transport the viewer to the very banks of the River Seine and River Marne where Jacob would patiently wait, paintbrush poised to capture his unique visions of the French countryside.
Throughout his career, it was the endless skies of the French landscape that appealed to Jacob. The horizon sits in the lower third of his compositions, with the focus on fleeting clouds above, fringed with luminous light. The vast open skies create a sense of calm and contemplation, punctuated by elongated poplar trees that rise from below. Jacob was a master at capturing the French landscape as it subtly changed between the seasons. In autumn, his paintings contain a golden aura, in winter, a soft creamy light diffuses across the landscape with hues of pinks and blues reflected in snow on the river banks and his depictions of springtime resonate with the crisp morning light. Jacob preferred to paint in the quiet moments after a storm had passed, and each of his landscapes have a unique atmosphere of calm and tranquility, achieved by the still watery reflections in the foreground. Jacob debuted at the Paris Salon of 1899. He was awarded the Hors Concours at the Salon of 1908 at the Exposition Annuelle des Beaux-Arts and his work was exhibited annually at both the Salon d'Automne and the prestigious Salon d'Hiver, for which he gained numerous awards and distinctions which led to his election as a member of the Jury of the Paris Salon. Along with his close friend Édouard Léon Cortès, Jacob was a member of L'Union des Beaux-Arts de Lagny, formed in 1926 with fellow artists including Paul Emil Colin, Henri Lebasque, Frédéric Levé, Maurice Monnot, Charles Pavil and Emile Prodhon. Herbert Fuller, of Gladwell & Company, London, first came across Jacob's work in the Paris Salon after the Second World War, and it was at this point that Jacob's work began to attract the international clientele of this historic art gallery in the City of London. Initially Jacob was represented by Galerie Haussmann in Paris, but as his popularity grew, Gladwell & Company acquired work directly from the artist from the early 1960's until Jacob's death in 1972.
Jacob's work has featured in numerous exhibitions in France, South America, United States and throughout Europe. His paintings have been acquired by the French Government, the City of Paris, The Department Seine and the Conseil General de la Seine. Jacob's work also features in many distinguished private collections and museums across Europe, including Troyes, St. Etienne, Fougeres, Paris, St. Nazair and St. Quentin. Since Jacob's death, three generations of the Fuller family of Gladwell & Patterson have continued to place Jacob's illuminating oil paintings in illustrious private collections worldwide. In recent years Jacob's paintings have risen in popularity. Anthony Fuller of Gladwell & Patterson is currently preparing a Catalogue Raisonné of his work. Jacob's Awards and Honours 1908, First Prize, Salon Des Artists Français 1911, Prix Raigecourt, Salon Des Artistes Français. 1914, Gold Medal, Paris Salon. 1934, Prix Meurad 1934, Gold Medal, Société d'Aart, Sciences et Lettres. 1934, Gold Medal, Exhibition at Armieres. 1937, Gold Medal, International Exhibition of Paris. 1948, Honourable Medal, Exhibition Bois Colombes (Seine) 1914, Elected “Officier De L'instruction Publique” 1957, Elected A Knight of The Legion Of Honour. Jacob was also a member of The Société des Artistes Français, The French Water Colour Society, The Society of Fine Arts of Lagny, The Federation of Artists, The Society of French Landscape Painters, And The Committee of The Salon d'Hiver.
Alexandre Louis Jacob is best known for his atmospheric and luminous landscapes. He gained his rare understanding and love for nature through studied inspection, transferring his observations skillfully on to canvas. His masterful evocation of light, atmosphere, colour and sense of place are remarkable and have a true ability to transport the viewer to the very banks of the River Seine and River Marne where Jacob would patiently wait, pencil poised to capture his unique visions of the French countryside.
In recent years, Gladwell & Patterson have had the good fortune to collect some unique drawings by Jacob which the artist would send to his close friends at Christmas and New Year. They reveal the artist's direct observation of nature, sketching out his compositions with brown and black
pencil. Jacob heightened these drawings with white chalk, picking out a smooth reflection upon the surface of water or the glowing clouds in an endless sky. These sepia toned landscape sketches, like Jacob’s exquisite oil paintings, have a unique atmosphere of calm and tranquility, achieved by the still watery reflections in the foreground.