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Focus, Georges, 1644-1708 (French artist)



  • Existence: 1644-1708

Georges Focus (1644-1708) was a renowned landscape painter and a member of the French Academy in the 17th century.
Originally from Châteaudun, it seems that Georges Focus made most of his career in Paris. The beginning of his life is still not very well known, but his presence in Rome in 1666 is recorded, among the first ‘pensionnaires du roi*’ sent to Rome by Charles Errard, director of the Académie de France in Rome from 1666 to 1683. In 1675, he presented his 'reception piece' (a work submitted to the Académie for approval as part of the requirements for admission to membership) to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpting in Paris. Once a member, he actively participated in the debates and life of the institution until 1683.
In 1680, Focus was committed to the Parisian asylum called 'Les Petites Maisons'. During his years of confinement, he continued his artistic activity and produced hundreds of drawings of an exceptional quality and hitherto unpublished. The bulk of this production – 125 pen-and-ink drawings, often signed by Focus and sometimes dated 1694 or 1695 – is kept nowadays in the University of Edinburgh Library in the form of a bound volume acquired at the beginning of the 19th century.
Georges Focus died on the 6th of February 1708.
* A "pension du roi" was a periodical payment made by the king to outstanding men of merit: lords, artists, etc...So a “pensionnaire du roi” is an artist/comedian/writer receiving a payment from the King.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

"Recueil de Desseins Ridicules", by Georges Focus

Identifier: Coll-1945
Scope and Contents This is a bound manuscript volume containing approx. 125 pen-and-ink drawings by Georges Focus, often signed by the author and sometimes dated 1694 or 1695. This artwork was produced during his confinement at the Parisian asylum 'Les Petites Maisons', where he was sent in 1680. The illustrations represent various scenes, such as episodes of the artist’s life taking place in mainly Parisian or Roman settings, and excerpts from Virgile Travesti by the poet Pierre...
Dates: 1694-1695