(1836 - 1904)
Henri Fantin-Latour was active/lived in France. Henri Fantin Latour is known for still life, allegory and figure painting, lithography.
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Biography from the Archives of askART
Born to a Russian mother and a French father, who was a portrait
painter and drawing teacher, Henri Fantin-Latour became a well known
French painter and lithographer in the classical tradition of the Old
Biography from Anderson Galleries, Inc.
He moved with his family to Paris from Grenoble in1841 and early took
lessons from his father, Théodore Fantin-Latour. This instruction
was followed by short enrollment at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and then
work in the studio of Gustave Courbet. From 1853 for about 12
years, he made his living by copying Old Master paintings at the
Louvre, where he made the acquaintance of Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet
and Berthe Morisot. He became close friends with James
McNeill Whistler and with Whistler and Alphonse Legros, formed the
Société des Trois.
In 1859, at the invititation of Whistler, he visited him in London and
with the influence of him plus Alphonse Legros and engraver Edwin
Edwards, he became a part of the sophisticated art society of London.
In 1861 and 1862, he first exhibited at the Paris Salon. He had
close friendships with Impressionists but did not participate in their
exhibitions nor agree with their theories. His style was precise
and realistic, and he was a great admirer of the Romantics including
composer Richard Wagner, whose music he illustrated with lithographs.
Fantin-Latour married Victoria Dubourg, also a painter, in 1876, and
they spent their summers on her family's estate at Buré, Orne in
Basse-Normanie, the place of his death.
At the age of ten, Henri Fantin-Latour began painting with his father,
Théodore Fantin-Latour (1805-1875). In 1850, he left Grenoble and
moved to Paris to study under Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran, an
innovative and non-traditional instructor who developed and published
his own unique teaching method based on painting and drawing from
memory. Fantin-Latour studied with him for six years before
attending the École des Beaux-Arts for less than a year in 1854.
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Encouraged by the renowned J.A.M. Whistler, whom he met in 1858 at the
Louvre, Fantin-Latour made several trips to London from 1859 to 1881,
where he exhibited at the Royal Academy. London collectors
appreciated his still lifes, and he began accepting numerous portrait
commissions from English patrons.
In an effort to become
better known in France, Fantin-Latour also exhibited with his friend
Edouard Manet and future impressionists Jean Renoir and Claude
Monet. Unlike the realists and the impressionists, Fantin did not
paint out of doors, as he preferred literary subjects, still lifes, and
portraits that could be painted in his studio. In addition to
portraits and still lifes, he made numerous paintings, and more than
150 prints that were fantasy works and dream visions, paving the way
for symbolist artists. These works were inspired by allegorical and
mythological subjects as well as motivated by contemporary Romantic
German composers such as Schumann, Berlioz, and Wagner.
November 1901, Fantin-Latour wrote: "Never again flowers or portraits.
I amuse myself painting whatever comes to mind." The present
picture, which has been dated to 1902, is an example of the late
imaginative works that the artist—freed from the necessity of painting
portraits or commercial still-lifes—made at the end of his career. They
were distinctive for their loose, spontaneous execution and delicate
harmonies of color, in addition to their fantastical subject matter.
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