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Robert Noir was born in Paris in 1864 and was also known by the pseudonym Salmon Ernest. Noir was the nephew of journalist Victor Noir, who was killed in a duel in 1870 by Prince Pierre Bonaparte.
Robert Noir worked in Paris as a painter; his first works were signed Ernest Noir, and after 1912, were signed Robert Noir. His influences were derived from friendships with Etienne de Martenne and sculptor Louis de Monard.
In Paris, Noir exhibited at the Salons des Artistes Français*, Salon des Humoristes and the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts*. Noir received an honorable mention from the Salon des Artistes Français in 1903. In 1918, he also exhibited at the Devambez Gallery in Paris.
Retrospectives of Noir's work have been hosted by the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1981 and by the Musee de Vernon in 1984. Noir's works are moody and often fairly bizarre. He used somber colors and haunting characters tø draw the viewer into his world.
Museums that have collected his work include the Bois-le-Rois, Musée de Petit Palais, Paris and Musée Poulain, Vernon.
Noir committed suicide by hanging himself in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris on May 13, 1931 after suffering from an incurable sickness.
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