Henri Fantin-Latour (14 January 1836 –
25 August 1904) was a French painter and lithographer best known for
his flower paintings and group portraits of Parisian artists and
He was born Ignace Henri
Jean Théodore Fantin-Latour in Grenoble, Isère. As a youth, he
received drawing lessons from his father, who was an artist. In 1850
he entered the Ecole de Dessin, where he studied with Lecoq de
Boisbaudran. After studying at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris
from 1854, he devoted much time to copying the works of the old
masters in the Musée du Louvre. Although Fantin-Latour befriended
several of the young artists who would later be associated with
Impressionism, including Whistler and Manet, Fantin's own work
remained conservative in style.
Whistler brought attention to
Fantin in England, where his still-lifes sold so well that they were
"practically unknown in France during his lifetime". In addition to
his realistic paintings, Fantin-Latour created imaginative
lithographs inspired by the music of some of the great classical
In 1875, 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 Buré, Orne in
Lower Normandy, where he died of lyme disease on 25 August 1904.
He was interred in the Cimetière du
Montparnasse, Paris, France
Marcel Proust mentions Fantin-Latour's work in In Search of Lost
Many young women's hands would
be incapable of doing what I see there,' said the Prince, pointing
to Mme de Villeparisis's unfinished watercolours. And he has asked
her whether she had seen the flower painting by Fantin-Latour which
had recently been exhibited. (The Guermantes Way)
His first major UK gallery
exhibition in 40 years took place at the Bowes Museum in April 2011.
The painting "A basket of roses"
was used as the cover of New Order's album Power, Corruption & Lies
by Peter Saville in 1983.
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