Emile Jean Horace Vernet France
6-30-1789 Paris, FRA – 1-17-1863 Paris, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Emile Jean Horace Vernet was born to Carle Vernet, another famous painter, who was himself a son of Claude Joseph Vernet. He entered the studio of the painter François-André Vincent at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
He gained recognition during the Bourbon Restoration for a series of battle paintings commissioned by the duc d'Orleans, the future King Louis-Philippe. Critics marvelled at the incredible speed with which he painted. Many of his paintings made during this early phase of his career were noted for their historical accuracy as well as their charged landscapes. Examples of Emile Jean Horace Vernet paintings in this style include the Battle of Valmy, the Battle of Jemappes, and the Battle of Montmirail.
At the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1855, Emile Jean Horace Vernet occupied as an entire hall, and received the medal of honor, which placed him at the head of the painters of his time.
Over the course of his long career, Emile Jean Horace Vernet was honored with dozens of important commissions. King Louis-Philippe was one of his most prolific patrons. His depictions of Algerian battles, such as the Capture of the Smahla and the Capture of Constantine, were well-received, as they were vivid depictions of the French army in the heat of battle. After the fall of the July Monarchy during the Revolution of 1848, Vernet discovered a new patron in Napoléon III of France.
Emile Jean Horace Vernet continued to paint representations of the heroic French army during the Second Empire and maintained his commitment to representing war in an accessible and realistic way. He accompanied the French Army during the Crimean War, producing several paintings, including one of the Battle of the Alma, which was not as well received as his earlier paintings. One well known and possibly apocryphal anecdote maintains that when Vernet was asked to remove a certain obnoxious general from one of his paintings, he replied, "I am a painter of history, sir, and I will not violate the truth," hence demonstrating his fidelity to representing war truthfully.
Art Movement: Romanticism, Orientalism
Influences: François-André Vincent, Carle Vernet
Travelled: Algeria, Russia, Egypt
Influenced: Jean-Paul Gentil, Jules Breton, Pierre Dupuis, Eugène Lami, Émile Lambinet, François-Gabriel Lépaulle