Georges Rouault (1871-1958), The Judges, 1908
Three judges confront us in a dark and gloomy room. Their faces glow in the dark like hideous masks.
Scepticism towards the judicial system
In several pictures of judges Rouault expressed his scepticism towards the judicial system: “If I have made judges such lamentable figures, it is doubtless because I betrayed the anguish which I feel at the sight of a human being who has to pass judgement on other men.”
Rouault was fuelled by moral indignation and spent much of his life depicting people who lived on the edge of society: Criminals before the court, prostitutes, and clowns and circus performers.
Rouault and Fauvism
Rouault was a contributor to the infamous 1905 Salon d’Automne, when Fauvism achieved its breakthrough, and indeed his coarse, expressive style has a certain kinship with Fauvism