The Revolt 1902 - 1914
In 1898, when Gustave Moreau succumbs to cancer, Rouault loses his principal supporter, his world collapses; he says himself that at that moment ‘it was the abyss’. From this time, and for the next 5 years, Rouault goes through a moral and aesthetic crisis. Deeply affected by the death of his master, separated from his family living in Algeria, he has a changed outlook on life and feels totally isolated.

In 1902, exhausted and sick, he goes to convalesce at Evian and it is this break that marks the end of his crisis. The peace and quiet, and the nature of late autumn, totally renews his vision. He starts to paint frenetically.

Returning to Paris, he discovers in Moreau’s library, the works of Léon Bloy who he will meet in 1904. The works of this polemic writer express his revolt against the hypocrisy of a certain bourgeoisie, Christian by convention rather than by conviction, whom he denounces ferociously, along with the mediocrity or baseness manifested in society.

“I underwent then a moral crisis of the most violent sort. I experienced things which cannot be expressed by words. And I began to paint with an outrageous lyricism which disconcerted everybody.” Georges Rouault quoted by Georges Charensol.

Fille au miroir, 1906

Clown au bandonéon, 1906

On a walk with his mother