Fantin-Latour, Ignace Henri Jean Theodore
FANTIN-LATOUR, IGNACE HENRI JEAN THEODORE (1836-1904), French artist, was born at Grenoble on the 14th of January 1836. He studied first with his father, a pastel painter, and then at the drawing school of Lecoq de Boisbaudran, and later under Couture. He was the friend of Ingres, Dalacroix, Corot, Courbet and others. He exhibited in the Salon of 1861, and many of his more important canvases appeared on its walls in later years, though 1863 found him with Harpignies, Monet, Legros and Whistler in the Salon des Refusés. Whistler introduced him to English artistic circles, and he lived for some time in England, many of his portraits and flower pieces being in English galleries. He died on the 28th of August 1904. His portrait groups, arranged somewhat after the manner of the Dutch masters, are as interesting from their subjects as they are from the artistic point of view. "Hommage à Delacroix" showed portraits of Whistler and Legros, Baudelaire, Champfleury and himself; "Un Atelier à Batignolles" gave portraits of Monet, Manet, Zola and Renoir, and is now in the Luxembourg; "Un Coin de table" presented Verlaine, Rimbaud, Camille Peladan and others; and "Autour du Piano" contained portraits of Chabrier, D'Indy and other musicians. His paintings of flowers are perfect examples of the art, and form perhaps the most famous section of his work in England. In his later years he devoted much attention to lithography, which had occupied him as early as 1862, but his examples were then considered so revolutionary, with their strong lights and black shadows, that the printer refused to execute them. After "L'Anniversaire" in honour of Berlioz in the Salon of 1876, he regularly exhibited lithographs, some of which were excellent examples of delicate portraiture, others being elusive and imaginative drawings illustrative of the music of Wagner (whose cause he championed in Paris as early as 1864), Berlioz, Brahms and other composers. He illustrated Adolphe Jullien's Wagner (1886) and Berlioz (1888). There are excellent collections of his lithographic work at Dresden, in the British Museum, and a practically complete set given by his widow to the Louvre. Some were also exhibited at South Kensington in 1898-1899, and at the Dutch gallery in 1904.
A catalogue of the lithographs of Fantin-Latour was drawn up by Germain Hédiard in Les Maîtres de la lithographie (1898-1899). A volume of reproductions, in a limited edition, was published (Paris, 1907) as L'OEuvre lithographique de Fantin-Latour. See A. Jullien, Fantin-Latour, sa vie et ses amitiés (Paris, 1909).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)