Léon Florentin Bonnat Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions
6-20-1833 Bayonne, FRA - 9-8-1922 Monchy, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Léon Florentin Bonnat was born in the Basque city of Bayonne, in the southwestern corner of France. At age 14, Bonnat’s father moved the family to Madrid where he opened and owned a bookshop. While tending his father's shop, he reproduced etchings of works by the Old Masters, building up an enthusiasm for drawing. In Madrid, he got his creative training under Frederico de Madrazo y Kuntz at the Academia Real de Las Bellas Artes de San Fernando. He later worked in Paris, where he became known as a leading portraitist, never without a commission. His numerous portraits demonstrate the impact Velázquez, Jusepe de Ribera and other Spanish masters had on him, in addition to Titian and Van Dyke, whose works he studied in the Prado.
Following the period in Spain, Léon Florentin Bonnat worked the ateliers of the history painters Paul Delaroche and Leon Cogniet in Paris. In spite of repeated endeavors, he failed to win the Prix de Rome, at long last getting only a second prize.
He won a medal of honor in Paris in 1869, going on to be one of the main artists of his day. Bonnat went on to win the Grand Officer of the Légion d'Honneur and became a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1882. Léon Bonnat was very well known with American understudies in Paris. Besides speaking French, he could communicate in Spanish and Italian and knew English well, to the surprise and relief of the numerous monolingual Americans.
Bonnat's emphasis on overall effect on the one hand and expert drawing, on the other hand, placed him in a center position regarding the Impressionists and Academic painters like his companion Jean-Léon Gérôme.
Léon Florentin Bonnat is an academic painter. He was a member of the Institute, one of the 14 painters who had regulatory control over the Academy des Beaux Arts and along these lines the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He had companions and associations among the autonomous artists of his time also, for example, Edgar Degas, whom he met amid his stay in Rome and who painted two portraits of Bonnat, and Édouard Manet, who shared his inclination for Spanish painting. He upheld Auguste Rodin's appointment for the Institut and defended Gustave Courbet's entries to the salon. The artists Bonnant taught or influenced is a who's who of the art world.
In a motion of appreciation for the assistance he had been given in his childhood, Léon Bonnat constructed a museum exhibition hall in his native city of Bayonne, the Musée Bonnat.
Art Movement: Academic.
Artists Influencing Léon Bonnat: Frederico de Madrazo, Diego Velázquez, Jusepe de Ribera, Leon Cogniet.
He Traveled To Spain, Italy.
Painters Léon Florentin Bonnat Influenced: John Singer Sargent, Stanhope Forbes, Gustave Caillebotte, Georges Braque, Thomas Eakins, Raoul Dufy, Louis Béroud, Edvard Munch, Alphonse Osbert, Henry Siddons Mowbray, Charles Sprague Pearce, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.