- Kenneth Neal
(b Nantes, Sept 17, 1871; d La Bernerie-en-Retz, Loire-Atlantique, 1954).
French painter. He was a pupil of Jules-Elie Delaunay and Gustave Moreau at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and helped to popularize Symbolism in the 1890s by applying a highly finished academic technique to Symbolist subjects. His best-known paintings, which include Girl with a Peacock (before 1896; Paris, G. Levy priv. col., see Jullian, p. 2) and the Soul of the Forest (c. 1897; Nantes, Mus. B.-A.), are decorative, vaguely religious or allegorical images of beautiful women in medieval dress, influenced by early Italian Renaissance and late English Pre-Raphaelite art. Maxence often enriched the surface of his works with gold or silver foil and gilt plaster relief and mounted them in elaborate frames of his own design. He also painted fashionable portraits such as Woman with an Orchid (1900; Paris, A. Lesieutre priv. col., see 1986 exh. cat., p. 29) and Impressionist landscapes. Though he participated in the avant-garde Salon de la Rose + Croix between ...