Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933)

Louis Comfort Tiffany painter, stained glass designer, studio glass artist, art director and craftsman, was born in New York, February 18th, 1848. Tiffany was a student of George Inness and Samuel Coleman in New York and Leon Bailly in Paris. Early on it was Tiffany’s achievement in stained glass that brought him world fame. One contemporary critic of Tiffany stated: “It is acknowledged by all experts that the great advance made in this country in both coloured windows and wall mosaic work is largely due to the discoveries and inventions of Mr. Tiffany, particularly that of Favrile Glass.” Favrile glass was an iridescent glass that Tiffany created in his famous Tiffany studios and copied by almost every important glass studio working at the time but few came close to the quality and style that Tiffany employed in his process.

Very few people associate Tiffany with anything else but “art glass” and “lamps” but he was a very gifted painter who demonstrated as much an appreciation for color and light in his canvases as he did his glass. He was an excellent draftsman (perhaps from his background as a designer) and quite skilled in the way he handled his paint application, quick, unlaboured strokes were used to create excellent effect of light and shadow. A critic wrote: “In painting, Mr. Tiffany makes a specialty of oriental scenes. Well known subjects are: “Street scene in Tangiers” ‘Feeding the Flamingos” “Dock scene” The cobblers at Boufarick” “Market day at Nuremburg” “Study of Quimper, Brittany” and “Duane street, New York.” Tiffany painted all over the world from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the United States recording scenes from every day life that seem plain and unworldly when compared to his elaborate decorations in glass. They have a certain charm to them, especially when viewed against the background of the man who created them. In Tiffany's paintings one almost gets the sense that these were his recreation, that he found comfort in the plain honest truth of everyday life and sought to capture it on canvas.

Extracted from AskArt


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