Léon Cogniet Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions

8-29-1794 Paris, FRA – 11-20-1880 Paris, FRA

Cogniet, Léon

In 1812, Léon Cogniet enrolled at the École des Beaux-arts, where he studied with Pierre-Narcisse Guérin. He also worked in the studios of Jean-Victor Bertin. In the wake of falling flat on his try to win the Prix de Rome in 1816, he won the next year with his depiction of Helen Rescued by Castor and Pollux and got a scholarship to study at the French Academy in Rome until 1822. Before leaving, he had his first exhibition at the Salon.

In 1827, Léon Cogniet created a series of murals on the life of Saint Stephen for the church of Saint-Nicholas-des-Champs. He painted the Scène de Juillet 1830 or Les Drapeaux (The Flags) covered with the blood of dead heroes for freedom, on the blue sky, hoisted on the towers of Notre-Dame de Paris which were presented at the Salon of 1831, next to Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix. Unfortunately, two of the most patriotic paintings ever made were competing next to each other, from this date on, the two friends separated and never spoke.

From 1833 to 1835, he painted a scene from Napoleon's expedition to Egypt on a ceiling at the Louvre. Between 1840 and 1860, he ran a prominent painting studio only for women, directed by his sister Marie-Amélie and one student, Catherine Caroline Thévenin, who later became his wife. After 1843, Léon Cogniet concentrated on teaching, with an occasional portrait.

After 1831, he taught design at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand and from 1847 to 1861 at the École Polytechnique. In 1851, he was appointed a Professor at the École des Beaux-Arts, a position he held until 1863, when he retired, surrendering his private students and winding up more withdrawn. After 1855, he gave up his personal painting. Léon Cogniet is remembered as a great teacher, with more than one hundred students who became well-known later in their life.

Art Movement: Romanticism.
Artists Influencing Léon Cogniet: Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, Jean-Victor Bertin.
He Traveled To Italy, Egypt.
Painters Léon Cogniet Influenced: Rosa Bonheur, Edgar Degas, Léon Bonnat, Alfred Boucher, Marie-Amélie Cogniet, Pierre Auguste Cot, Jean-Paul Laurens, Jules Lefebvre, Évariste-Vital Luminais, Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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