|Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data
compared to the extensive information about American artists.|
Francois Louis Lanfant de Metz French 1814-.1892
Francois Louis Lanfant de Metz, called Lanfant de Metz and known as a “little master” in the genre of childhood, was born in Sierck, a little town on the river Moselle and a short distance from the city of Metz, France. Traveling to Paris at the age of fifteen to work in a wallpaper store he began to develop a passion for the theatre – an interest that would influence him greatly later in life.
While in Paris, Lanfant de Metz studied under Ary Scheffer, an artist noted for his high aim and pure sentiment. He then spent seven years in military service before being released in 1842, whereupon he traveled through Switzerland and Italy before returning to Paris. He debuted at the annual Paris Salon in 1843, showing pictures of an anecdotal and historical style that were well received by the public.
Meeting Courbet in his travels, Lanfant de Metz went with him to Tranvill on the west coast of France. Returning to Paris, fate intervened in the city of La Havre when he missed his train. Finding a theatre flyer with the name of friends, he joined them and met the composer and pianist Louis Tessier with whom he began a strong friendship and forgot Paris.
His work of the next 24 years was in a style completely unique to this artist. Being 52 years old with no money and many bills to pay, “Pappy Lanfant,” as the people began to call him, commenced creating smiling peasant children participating in games and dances in thousands of works generally no larger than a postcard. These paintings, a few of which were reproduced, are generally what the artist is known by today.
Biography excerpted from the unpublished catalog by Edward P. Bentley for the Haussner Restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland, titled: Haussner’s, The Children.