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Henri Fantin-Latour

Henri Fantin-Latour, Self-portrait (1859), Museum of Grenoble
Self-Portrait (1861)

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 writers.[1]


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.[2] In 1850 he entered the Ecole de Dessin, where he studied with Lecoq de Boisbaudran.[2] 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.[2] 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.[2]

Whistler brought attention to Fantin in England, where his still-lifes sold so well that they were "practically unknown in France during his lifetime".[2] In addition to his realistic paintings, Fantin-Latour created imaginative lithographs inspired by the music of some of the great classical composers.

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 on 25 August 1904.

He was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris, France


By the Table (1872)
Peonies (1891)
Still Life with a Carafe, Flowers and Fruit (1865)
Flowers and Fruit (1866)

Marcel Proust mentions Fantin-Latour's work in In Search of Lost Time:

"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 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.[3] Musée du Luxembourg presented a retrospective exhibition of his work in 2016–2017 entitled "À fleur de peau".

The painting A Basket of Roses was used as the cover of New Order's album Power, Corruption & Lies by Peter Saville in 1983.

Public collections holding works by Fantin-Latour

Vase of Flowers (1877)



  1. ^ Rosenblum 1989, p. 162.
  2. ^ a b c d e Poulet & Murphy 1979, p. 73.
  3. ^ "A Bed of Roses: Fantin-Latour and the Impressionists at the Bowes Museum". Archived from the original on 14 April 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2013.


  • Gibson, Frank F., The art of Henri Fantin-Latour, his life and work, London, Drane's ltd., 1924.
  • Lucie-Smith, Edward, Henri Fantin-Latour, New York, Rizzoli, 1977.
  • Poulet, Anne L., & Murphy, A. R., Corot to Braque: French Paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston: The Museum, 1979. ISBN 978-0-87846-134-9
  • Rosenblum, Robert, Paintings in the Musée d'Orsay, New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1989. ISBN 978-1-55670-099-6

External links

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