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 Constant Troyon  (1810 - 1865)

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Lived/Active: France      Known for: Barbizon School painting-landscapes

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Ad Code: 3
Constant Troyon
from Auction House Records.
Unloading the ferry, sunset
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from South Coast Fine Art:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Constant Troyon established himself as one of the most prominent members of the Barbizon School, a loosely associated group of artists working in the small village of Barbizon, France, on the edge of the Forest at Fontainebleau.  His work took on international dimensions through exhibitions abroad, more so than any other artist connected to this group.  His paintings were initially dedicated to the realistic depiction of the landscape, but after a decisive journey to Holland in 1847, he expanded his oeuvre and gained international renown by becoming an “animalier,” a professional animal painter.  Troyon effectively used his previous experience as a landscape painter to situate his impressive representations of animals in their natural environment.

Constantin Troyon, called Constant, was born August 28, 1810 in Sèvres, a town with a well-established porcelain tradition spanning several centuries.  Both his father, a porcelain painter, and his mother, a burnisher, worked at the porcelain factory, and several accounts mention that Constant was born inside the manufactory itself, though he most likely just lived next door.  When he was just seven, and his mother was working as a burnisher at the porcelain factory, he began studying under Riocreux, Troyon’s godfather and director of the factory, who would later also take on Troyon. He was not the most diligent student, however, and preferred to wander outdoors rather than sit for official lessons.  Fittingly, he began his early career as a painter in the porcelain factory and would continue this until the late 1830’s, at which point he became a professional landscape painter.

Troyon spent most of his later years in Normandy, the Touraine, and the environs of Paris.  He died on March 20th, 1865 after suffering a stroke that led to paralysis and diminished his intellectual capacity. Troyon was the first among the Barbizon artists to pass away; the Salon of 1866 paid tribute to his career.


Biography from Schiller & Bodo European Paintings:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Constant Troyon was born August 28, 1810 in Sevres, where both of his parencts were employed in The Sevres Porcelain Factory.  He was trained by Riocreux, who was in charge of the porcelain museum at the factory, and worked as a painter on porcelain.  He drew and painted from nature in his spare time.  In about 1824 he met Diaz, who became a close friend.

He made his debut at the Salon with three conventional landscapes and continued to work as a porcelain decorator.  He painted in Sologne, in Brittany and with Jules Dupre in 1843, in the Landes.  In the same year he met Rousseau and went to work in Barbizon, where he received his true introduction to landscape painting.  Troyon exhibited views of the Forest of Fontainebleau at the Salons of 1844, 1846, and 1848. The decisive moment of his career came in 1847 during a visit to Holland, when he saw the work of Cuyp and Potter for the first time.  He began to introduce domestic animals into his own pictures and became as a result a famous animal painter.

He continued to paint landscapes, working mainly in Normandy, and the area of Tours, also visiting England and Tours and returning occasionally to the Barbizon region.  In 1859 he advised the young Monet to work out of doors.  He gained an international reputation via many exhibitions of his work, which were held in collections abroad, and he was swamped with commissions.  In his last years he painted seascapes on the Normandy coast; it was during this period that Boudin worked for him.  Constant Troyon died March 20, 1865 in Paris at the age of fifty-five.

Reprinted from: The Barbizon School and 19th Century French Landscape Painting.

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