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Beauty, Rarity, History...The M.S. Rau Antiques Blog

Bill Rau

M.S. Rau Antiques

Led by third-generation owner and published fine art expert Bill Rau, M.S. Rau Antiques has grown by leaps and bounds since his grandfather Max Rau opened the doors in 1912 to a then-small antiques store in the heart of New Orleans' historic French Quarter. Bill's extensive knowledge and reputation as a leader places him among the most respected antique experts and gallery owners today.

A New Orleans institution for over 100 years, M.S. Rau Antiques is among the premier antiques galleries in the world. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, our 25,000 square foot gallery overflows with incredible antiques by names including Tiffany & Co., Paul Revere and Fabergé. Our unparalleled selection of important, original paintings and sculpture spans the 16th through the 21st century, created by legendary artists such as Brueghel, Monet and Rockwell, and our diverse selection of exquisite jewels, including rare colored diamonds, Kashmir sapphires and Burma rubies is without equal.

Art of Inspiration: The Paintings of Jean-Pierre Cassigneul

  • Set against a serene seascape, the woman in this work, entitled September, exemplifies the elegance of Cassigneul's work.

    Set against a serene seascape, the woman in this work, entitled September, exemplifies the elegance of Cassigneul's work.

    M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans

  • The Emerald Necklace is a classic example of his aesthetic, a true masterpiece of composition and color.

    The Emerald Necklace is a classic example of his aesthetic, a true masterpiece of composition and color.

    M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans

  • Entitled Aprés l'Orage (After the Storm), the work is a study in serenity and sophistication.

    Entitled Aprés l'Orage (After the Storm), the work is a study in serenity and sophistication.

    M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans

Vibrant, evocative and captivating, the works of contemporary French artist Jean-Pierre Cassigneul arouse the senses with their distinctive blend of classical beauty and avant-garde sophistication. Every brushstroke executed through the course of his over-60-year career pays tribute to the modern art masters that came before in a style that is uniquely Cassigneul.

Cassigneul’s artistic gifts were evident as a small boy growing up in Paris. Incredibly, with the encouragement of his parents, he had his first solo exhibition at the Lucy Krogh Gallery in 1952 when he was just 17. Then a student at the Charpentier Academy, he would soon continue his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts and earn membership to the Autumn Salon. By the time he was 24, Cassigneul was an established member of the French art scene.

His inspiration came from the revolutionary Les Nabis, Fauvist and Expressionist movements that dominated the early 20th century, represented by such artists as Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Kees von Dongen. With his dramatic use of color and unique intensity, Cassigneul gave rise to a singular style that explored the 2-dimensional space of the canvas featuring the stylized female form. Entitled September, this piece is a perfect example of his works depicting luxurious women at leisure. The canvas is dominated by brilliant blues and lush reds executed through broad, purposeful brushwork. The subject’s slender frame is punctuated by pops of color that draw the attention toward the enlarged proportions of her eyes and lips.

In The Emerald Necklace, Cassigneul presents a visual feast as this portrait of a beautiful lady of high society is invigorated by a kaleidoscope of lush greens. Again, the subject’s peerless eyes grip the viewer’s attention; her gaze is both entrancing and daring. Though the artist is clearly deriving his inspiration from several sources, he successfully and quite brilliantly marries the classic with the contemporary to craft an aesthetic that is entirely his own. 

Cassigneul has enjoyed tremendous success since that first showing at the age of 17. His capacity for melding the modern with the techniques of those who came before has allowed Cassigneul to forge a new, distinct path. With masterpieces that have enthralled the art world for over six decades, Cassigneul has formed a body of work that will forever hold a place of prominence in the annals of French modern art.

Click here to learn more about Cassigneul and his incredible paintings.

About M.S. Rau Antiques:

M.S. Rau Antiques has spent over 100 years earning the trust of discerning collectors world-wide. Located in the heart of New Orleans’ historic French Quarter, our peerless showroom houses one of the world’s most extensive and stunning collections of important fine art by artists such as Monet and van Gogh, rare 18th-and 19th-century antiques and breathtaking jewelry, including rare colored diamonds.

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