Developments in the 19th Century


Art Styles in 19th century - Art Map





(Between Romanticism and Expressionism)


Henri Fantin-Latour

(1836- 1904)





b Grenoble, 14 Jan 1836; d Buré, Orne, 25 Aug 1904.

Painter and printmaker. He studied with his father, Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1805–75), from 1846 and then with Horace Lecocq de Boisbaudran at the Petite Ecole de Dessin in Paris from 1850 to 1856. His apprenticeship was based on copying the Old Masters before beginning to study from nature. He had a growing enthusiasm for the Italian painters, particularly Titian and Veronese, whom he copied in the Louvre, Paris, from 1852. The Dream (1854; Grenoble, Mus. Grenoble) is one of the first of a series of imaginary scenes in which Fantin-Latour concentrated on the theme of vision, which he later continued in his representations of scenes from various operas. He met François Bonvin and Félix Bracquemond in 1853 and went to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1854, but he left before the end of the year. He began to paint the life around him and did a series of self-portraits from 1854 to 1861, such as Self-portrait Seated at the Easel (1858; Berlin, Alte N.G.) and Self-portrait (1859; Grenoble, Mus. Grenoble). These two directions—Realism and fantasy—were already clearly defined when he met Gustave Courbet in 1859. For several months in 1861 he was a pupil at Courbet’s studio, but from the start he tempered the brutal Realism of his master with a discreet intimacy in such works as the Two Sisters (1859; St Louis, MO, A. Mus.), Woman Reading (1861; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay) and Reading (1863; Tournai, Mus. B.-A.). By rejecting the anecdotal aspect of genre, Fantin-Latour heightened the tension inherent in a contrast between the physical proximity of the models and their psychological distance, creating a sense of solitude.

Portrait of Sonia
Self Portrait
Woman at Her Toillette

Still Life with Flowers and Fruit
Still Life

Mademoiselle de Fitz-James


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