Francois Brunery Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions

1849 Turin, ITA - 1-16-1926 Rome, ITA

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Brunery, Francois

Francois Brunery left Turin in the 1860s for Paris where he studied with two of the most prestigious academic painters of the day, Jean-Léon Gérôme, and Léon Bonnat. Gérôme had built up his reputation in the 1850s as a painter of classical themes and afterward extended his collection to incorporate Orientalist subjects. Besides his interest in episodic history painting, in which famous historical figures are shown going about ordinary everyday activities, would be an example for Brunery in later years.

Likewise, Léon Bonnat, one of Gérôme’s friends, was a well-established academic artist in 1860s Paris. Together, the two men left Paris in 1868 on an extended painting trip to the Middle East. It was after his return from Jerusalem and Egypt that Bonnat started to explore different avenues of episodic genre paintings.

With his training finished, Francois Brunery returned again to Italy. Although a significant number of his canvases remain un-dated, there are many that appear to have been made in the 1870s in Venice. During these years, Brunery made many small format views of Venetian canals, piazzas, and bridges, painting on site in Plein-air. These little compositions were appealing to the tourist trade, and no doubt provided Brunery with a respectable income from his art.

Francois Brunery also mastered anecdotal genre painting during his time in Italy, starting with the so-called “cavalier” painting tradition that had been famous in Venice since at least the 1700s. Such pictures were popular, and Brunery’s technical virtuosity showcased his significant expertise in creating a convincing lighthearted and satirical narrative.
As his career advanced, Francois Brunery developed a particular forte in what is now known as “Cardinal Paintings”. These images depicting cardinals of the Catholic church in humorous or humiliating circumstances became popular in the late nineteenth century.

Brunery’s contribution to the Cardinal Painting genre was large. Some of these works are affable representations of the very human nature of noticeable churchmen. It is worth noting that this anti-clerical parody found an appreciative audience among people from all classes and was appreciated by academic and avant-garde artists alike.

By the 1890s, Francois Brunery established an international reputation as a painter of narrative genre scenes, he began to investigate the appealing American market for collectors. In 1911, many of Brunery’s oil paintings were incorporated in an auction at the American Art Association. His work was a popular success in the United States, including not only the Cardinal Paintings but the landscapes and cavalier genre paintings as well.

Art Movement: Academic.
Artists Influencing Francois Brunery: Jean-Léon Gérôme, Léon Bonnat.
He Traveled To France, Egypt, Israel.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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