MARCEL ROUX (French / 1878-1922)

The tortured anguish expressed in the art of Marcel Roux - a complex blend of asceticism and decadence - makes him a unique and haunting figure. Marcel Roux was born in Bessenay (Rhône), where there is now a Musée Marcel Roux celebrating his art. After studying at the Beaux-Arts in Lyon, he became a pupil of Paul Borel. Marcel Roux was inspired to specialise in etching after seeing the etchings of Rembrandt. Rembrandt's mastery of light and shade can be seen in Marcel Roux's etchings, but they also have the phantasmagorical passion of Goya. Essentially a visionary, working within a Symbolist aesthetic, Marcel Roux was haunted by the idea of death and hell, and tormented by a sense of social injustice and human suffering. As a result, religious and social themes intertwine in his work in a mysterious and powerful way. The Cabinet des Estampes of the Bibliothèque Nationale has an etching from his 1905 suite Danse Macabre, to which our etching "L'Enfant et la Mort" belongs. This suite is regarded by the art historian Colette E. Bidon, the authority on the art of Marcel Roux, as his masterwork. Three years later, Roux made another powerful series of dark, brooding etchings on the themes of suffering, death, and resurrection, inspired by a now-forgotten poem on the story of Lazarus, Lazare le Ressuscité. Marcel Roux's health never recovered from his experiences as a medical orderly in WWI, and he died prematurely at the age of only 44. After the war his health was too poor for etching, and he turned instead to wood engraving, planning, but not having time to execute, a series of plates Contre la guerre. Following his death in 1922, Justin Godart organised a retrospective of his work at the Salon d'Automne de Lyon, at which 117 works were displayed, including all 15 of the series Danse Macabre. See the 1991 exhibition catalogue Marcel Roux: Visions Fantastiques, and the website of the Musée Marcel Roux. We also have some fine etchings by Marcel Roux after Delacroix, Corot, Millet, and Daumier. To view these enter Roux in the simple search.

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Selected prints by MARCEL ROUX

L'échouée, c.1914
La mort s'approche, 1908
L'Enfant et la Mort, 1905

View all available prints by MARCEL ROUX