Musée No:792.023Regular price £25.00
Henri Fantin-Latour (1836 –1904) was a French painter and lithographer best known for his flower paintings, portraits and group portraits of Parisian artists and writers. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, then from 1854 he devoted himself to copying the works of the old masters in the Louvre. Although he was friends with several artists that would go on to become the “Impressionists”, including Whistler and Manet, his own work remained traditional in style, with the romanticisim of earlier generations. He regularly exhibited with his close friend Édouard Manet and the Impressionists, but he remained committed to traditional studio production and never painted outdoors. Whistler brought attention to Fantin in England, where his still-lifes sold incredibly well. 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 their country estate in Lower Normandy,
This portrait shows the 12 year old Marie-Yolande de Fitz-James, daughter of Édouard de Fitz-James. Fantin-Latour painted a series of portraits of her family members in preparation for a large group portrait that was never completed. Yolande went on to marry Alfred Georges, part of an ancient and noble family just 7 years later. Her children have the most fabulous names ever, but learning to spell their names must have been nightmarish! Imagine for her daughter - 'Isaure Louise Marguerite Marie de Cassaigne de Beaufort de Miramon de Fitz-James'. The use of ‘de’ in a French surname is a sign of nobility, but 4 in the same surname! A letter from her father, de Fitz-James, to a friend survives it is to thank him for trying to intercede between him and his son in law to try “to resolve difficulties” – just one sentence, infuriatingly I can’t find the letter before or the letter after –what had happened? another mystery lost in time. Alfred Georges died in 1877 and Yolande remarried in1830.
Random fact: Fantin-Latour's painting "A Basket of Roses" was used as the cover of New Order's album Power, Corruption & Lies in 1983.