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 Francois Bernard  (1812 - 1875)

About: Francois Bernard


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Lived/Active: Louisiana / France      Known for: landscape, portrait, genre, dog paintings

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BIOGRAPHY for Francois Bernard
1812 (France)

Louisiana / France

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landscape, portrait, genre, dog paintings

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Biography from Case Antiques, Inc. Auctions & Appraisals:
Francois Bernard is best known as a New Orleans portrait, landscape, and genre painter.  His origins are uncertain but he is thought to have been born around 1829 in France.  The Benezit Dictionary of Artists, first published in 1911, lists a Jean Francois Armand Felix Bernard, born 1829, stating that he studied with Jean-Claude Bonnefond and Jean Paul Flandrin at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but makes no mention of Louisiana scenes.

Bernard may have been in New Orleans as early as 1848, but the first newspaper mention of him in that city does not appear until 1856.  After that point, he exhibited numerous times, including at the American Exposition in 1885-86.  He was awarded a silver medal for "the best head in oil" at the Grand State Fair in 1869.

His style has been described as direct, businesslike, and scrupulously detailed and compared with fellow New Orleans painter George Coulon.  Bernard struggled in the post Civil War Southern economy and moved to Peru shortly before his death in about 1875.

(courtesy Richard Anthony Lewis, Louisiana State Museum)

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