Paris 1838 – Paris 1913

Prins’ oeuvre and career were closely linked to those of  Edouard Manet (1832-1883), whom he got to know through the latter’s  wife, Suzanne Leenhof. He also married one of Monet’s models,  Fanny Claus, who figures on the far right of Manet’s painting Le Balcon (1869; Musée d’Orsay, Paris). The two artists became  close friends and Manet both praised and encouraged Prins. It was thus that, shortly after Manet had made his first pastel in 1862,  Prins produced his own first pastel. He soon revealed himself as particularly gifted in this medium, producing works of  subtle quality.
His great talent as a pastellist was recognised by his contemporaries already in his lifetime. On the occasion of the artist first solo exhibition, the critic Zacharie Astruc highlighted Prins’ extraordinary handling of the medium: ‘Notre ami s’improvise du
soir au matin pastelliste, se jette dans le tendre, met sa rude main sur de frêles outils, organise son matériel d’une façon
primitive et se lance vers l’inconnu avec une ardeur farouche qui est expressément son caractère. Or, il se trouve que le plus
délicat procédé lui va comme un gant‘. (l. Jampoller, Catalogue général de l’oeuvre de Pierre Prins 1838-1913, Paris, 1993, p.
18). The majority of his pastels are in the Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

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