Rosemary Flannery March 2021
Rosemary Flannery, an American artist, historian, tour guide and author, living and working in France since 1989, graced us with a fascinating look at her path all the years in France realizing many of her creative talents. During the two-hour Après-Midi, she proudly showed us her paintings and drawings of portraits—of children, adults and even pets, in a variety of media, from oils to pastels, from pencils to crayons—and a demonstration of her techniques.
This was a presentation not only for those interested in art, but for those who wanted to learn from a master and gain a perspective on life in France as an artist. Her artistic training began in her New Jersey hometown, and continued in NYC at the Traphagen School of Design and the Art Students League. She later pursued a career in media and in the French fashion industry, and earned a BA in French literature at Columbia University, all the while dreaming of living in France.
Once she arrived here, Rosemary devoted herself more fully to art, studying painting and drawing at the Ateliers du Carrousel, copying masters’ paintings at the Louvre, and taking summer classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. At the Atelier St Luc, she learned Renaissance and 18th century techniques which continue to inspire her work today.
Represented by the Galerie des Saints-Pères for portraiture until its closing in 2006, Rosemary created portraits for members of the American Embassy in Paris and for a French bar association. In addition to her love of portraits, she loves painting landscapes and still life. Exhibits have included solo and group shows in France, Ireland and Tunisia.
I showed off the portrait Rosemary had done of me recently, drawn from a photo in three types of crayon: white, a “croquis noir” and a “sanguine,” which she likes to use to get rich skin tones. The audience couldn’t help but also ask about her 2012 book, Angels of Paris: an Architectural Tour of the History of Paris, also published in French as Les Anges de Paris. Rosemary spent 1.5 years researching, photographing and writing about angels all over the City of Light, one of which she highlighted exists on my street corner, but I had never noticed until her book came out.
Everyone loved talking about Rosemary’s angels as much as her art. We couldn’t help but digress a bit. In Paris, Rosemary also works as a tour guide, specializing in art, architecture and history. These passions inspired her book, but she’s still an artist at heart. With her portraiture, Rosemary strives to capture the spirit and personality of each subject, while creating a work of art that endures through the generations. “A portrait is truly a gift of love,” she said.
Rosemary offered all of our readers a 10% discount for a commissioned work of your loved one, whether that be a person, a few people or pets. Just be sure to tell her Adrian sent you.