Henri Fantin Latour France

1-14-1836 Grenoble, FRA – 8-28-1904 Normandy, FRA

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Fantin Latour, Henri

Ignace Henri Fantin-Latour, was born of mixed French and Russian parentage. From 1850 to 1856, he studied at the Petite École de Dessin by copying Italian Old Masters, such as Titian and Paolo Veronese.

Though considered essentially an 'establishment' painter who exhibited throughout his career at the Salon and the Royal Academy, Henri Fantin-Latour associated with the avant-garde, in particular the circle surrounding Manet whose realism influenced the style of his own portraits.

Henri Fantin-Latour is best known for his luxurious flower pieces but he also painted several group portraits that are important historical documents and show his friendship with leading avant-garde artists. Despite artistic differences, the contemporaries featured in his portrait oil paintings, it is to his credit that we know what many of these literary and artistic persons of the time looked like.

Fantin worked mainly outside the fashionable art movements of the day, having little in common with the Impressionists. His  sources of inspiration derived from artists of the past such as Titian, Watteau, and Chardin, whose works he studied exhaustively in the Louvre.
 
Henri Fantin-Latour increasingly turned towards idealism in his last years, presaging the Symbolist movement in his search to depict his inner visions. Ironically, it was his flowers and still-lifes which brought him fame and for which he is primarily and remembered.
In 1876, Henri Fantin-Latour married a fellow painter, Victoria Dubourg, after which he spent his summers on the country estate of his wife's family at Bure.

In spite of his associations with such progressive artists, Fantin-Latour gradually withdrew from this active society to paint group portraits and still life's in his own conservative style. His method of handling paint produced an overall effect of mysterious distance, nearly photographic in its realistic rendering of texture and color. His work strongly influenced the Symbolist movement of the late 19th Century. Today, his paintings sell for as much as US$2.5 million.

Movement: Realism
Influences: Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran, Edouard Manet, Titian, Jean-Antoine Watteau, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin
From Wikipedia

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