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Adolphe Appian

 (1818 - 1898)
Adolphe Appian was active/lived in France.  Adolphe Appian is known for landscape painting, etching.

Adolphe Appian

Biography from the Archives of askART

Jacques Barthelemy Adolphe Appian  aka. Adolphe Appian (1818-1898)

A leading French landscape artist of the nineteenth century, he first studied art in his native Lyon at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.  Adolphe Appian quickly established a strong reputation for his landscape paintings which enabled him to travel to Paris to conclude his studies. There he was inspired by such Barbizon painters and etchers as Corot and Daubigny.  It is believed Adolphe Appian studied etching techniques under these masters.

Appian's first submission to the Paris Salon in 1853 was a charcoal drawing (the salon exhibited highly finished "presentation" drawings and prints as well as paintings and sculpture); and it was as a "fusainiste" or master of charcoal and crayon landscape drawings that Appian first gained fame.

During the early 1860's original etching emerged as a major artistic force in France.  Such publishers as the Gazette des Beaux-Arts and Cadart's, Societe des Aquafortistes regularly commissioned artists for original etchings.  The first of Adolph Appian's etchings date from this period and during the following years many of his works in this medium were published by the Societe des Aquafortistes.

Appian's career as a painter was firmly established in 1867, when his large Salon painting the Lac du Bourget was acquired by the Emperor Napoleon III.  Throughout the 1870's, he painted in the Pyrenees, in southern France and along the Riviera, and in Venice and Genoa.  During this period he was one of the few artist to regularly show plein air (outdoor) painted sketches as well as large scale finished paintings as the Salon; and her was thus often associated with the younger Impressionists.

Over his lifetime Appian received more that a dozen gold medals for landscapes in virtually all media:  drawings, paintings, and prints, both at the Paris Salon and at the World's Fairs in Munich and London as well as Paris.  

Adolphe Appian was elected a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur.  Today his etchings and paintings are included in public museums in Amiens, Bourges, Grenoble, Nantes, Paris, Rouen, Lyon and elsewhere.

He died in Lyon in 1898.


Biography from Schiller & Bodo European Paintings
Adolphe Appian (French, 1818 - 1898)
Appian was among the group of landscapists that formed around Corot and Daubigny during the 1850s and carried their tradition of plein air painting to the end of the 19th century.  Appian was born in Lyon, where he began his artistic studies at the age of 15 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Lyon.  He began his career creating silk designs—Lyon was, of course, the center of silk production in France—and he opened his own silk design practice in 1842.

It was around this time that Appian met Auguste Ravier, who was also from Lyon, and by 1848 the two landscapists were painting together.  By 1852, the pair was painting in the company of Corot and Daubigny at Barbizon.  This period presented a significant turning point in Appian’s career: from 1853 Appian exhibited regularly at the Lyon and Paris Salons and began to live solely from his art.  Appian returned to the forest of Fontainebleau several times over the next decade in 1854, 1855, 1856 and he painted in the company of Daubigny in 1857 at Marlotte and in 1859 at Optevoz.  Appian and Daubigny maintained a close relationship and from 1859 Appian identified himself as a student of Daubigny and Corot at the annual Salon.

Although his time in Fontainebleau proved seminal in his career, Appian is best known for his images depicting the regions around his of his native Lyon—Ain, Auvergne, Savoy and the Pyrenees.  He returned to this area in 1862 and from the 1870s painted this southern region with occasional trips to paint along the Mediterranean coast at Collioure, the Martigues, Villefranche, Monaco and Menton.

Like his contemporary Henri Harpignies (1819-1916), Appian was interested in a broad range of media, and was as active producing finished works in charcoal and etching as he was in painting.  He joined the Société des Aquafortistes in 1865, and his etchings and works in charcoal are as prevalent in museum collections as are his paintings.

Selected Museum Collections:
 Musée du Louvre, Paris; Musée Calvet, Avignon; Brooklyn Museum; Musée de Brou, Bourg-en-Bresse; Dahesh Museum of Art, NY; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Chambéry; Art Institute of Chicago; Cleveland Museum of Art; Dallas Museum of Art; Préfecture de l’Isère, Grenoble; Indianapolis Art Museum; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon; Musée des Ursulines, Mâcon; Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH; Musée Cantini, Marseilles; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Musée Fabre, Montpellier; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes; Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA; Dahesh Museum of Art, New York; Musée Crozatier, Le Puy-en-Velay; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen; Musée Greuze, Tournus; Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, UK; Wichita Art Museum

Adolphe Appian (1818-1898), peintre et graveur de l’ecole Lyonnaise. Ex. Cat., Bourg-en-Bresse, Musee de Brou, 1997.
Adolphe Appian: etchings and lithographs from the G. and A. Burton collection. Ex. Cat., Cambridge: Fitzwilliam Museum, 1994.
 Dickinson Michaux, Lisa with Gabriel P. Weisberg, Expanding the Boundaries: Selected drawings from the Yvonne and Gabriel P. Weisberg Collection. Minneapolis, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2008.
 Harambourg, Lydia, Dictionnaire des peintres paysagistes français au XIXe siècle, Neuchâtel, Editions Ides et Calendes, 1985.

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About  Adolphe Appian

Born:  1818 - Lyon, France
Died:   1898 - Lyon, France
Known for:  landscape painting, etching