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Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Augustus Koopman was a painter and etcher of French and Italian subjects. He lived only 45 years and spent most of his short life in Paris where he was a member of an extensive expatriate community in Montparnasse. He also did much painting of marine and figurative subjects at Etaples, along the coast of Normandy, near the Belgian border. He maintained a studio at Etaples.
Koopman studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and in Paris between 1887 and 1892, at the Academie Julian and the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Among his teachers were William Bouguereau and Benjamin Constant and Tony Robert-Fleury.
In addition to his home in France, Koopman lived for extended periods in Venice. The family spent one winter season in Chioggia, the small fishing town just along the coast from Venice. It was there that he painted the work you see before you, a colorful saint’s day procession.
This painting is set in a Venetian frame. It is the frame the artist chose for this work and had made in a Venetian frame shop. After Koopman’s death, his brother went to the studio in Etaples, to close it and ship back to the United States all the canvases he found there. This painting was there, in this frame, with a note giving instructions that this work was not to be separated from this frame.
The work remains in its frame, and comes directly from the family.
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