In the Artist's Studio
A typically Academic painter, albeit with a better sense of humor than most, Henri Brispot focused on genre paintings poking gentle fun at human foibles and either showing the upper middle class, to which he belonged, occupying itself with frivolous pastimes including card games, shopping at the open air book stalls along the Seine, or showing up the pretensions of the peasantry: as an 1897 review in The New York Times describes: M.H. Brispot will poke fun at provincial France . . . In front of the village Mairie a poor old woman appears, and the chipper Prefect orates as he gives her a medal or some reward for her fifty-five years of service. It is a scene taken from Flauberts Madame Bovary. He was equally adept at teasing his fellow artists in works like In the Artists Studio and Criticizing the Portrait, the second of which shows several people, mostly women, gathered around a portrait along with the proud model (reminiscent of Gilbert & Sullivans very model of a modern major general) while the artist buries his head in his hands in despair at the back of the studio.