Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Random Inspiration: Émile Friant (1863-1932), Part 2

Le Repos des artistes (1880)

Unfortunately, as a student of academics, Émile Friant was uninspiring and uninspired.  This was a singular disappointment for Madame Parisot, who had expected to see the object of her patronage excel in his studies.  In fact, the only area in which Émile had shown any exceptional ability was in art, and upon the prudent advice from some family friends, Virgile set about to cultivate his son's talent by enrolling him in art classes at the municipal school of art.  Émile's work quickly gained recognition, and  several medals were bestowed upon him;  this contrast with his mediocre results at the lycée only frustrated the boy, who begged his father to allow him quit the lycée altogether so that he might study painting exclusively.²

Académie d'homme debout (1878)
75 X 60 cm

Académie d'homme debout
80.5 X 65.5 cm

Académie d'homme noir debout
81.5 X 65 cm

Académie d'homme debout, de dos
81 X 64.5 cm

Académie de femme, de dos
62 X 42 cm

To the young Friant's surprise, his father was not in opposition to this request to leave the lycée - but his painting master at the municipal school was.  Though Friant's teacher, Théodore Devilly, a former student of Eugène Delacroix, had no doubt of the boy's prospects as an artist, he felt it would be a mistake for Émile to abandon school before attaining a well-rounded, classical education.  A compromise was reached, by which a private tutor was secured for the boy, and his schedule was arranged as to leave him much time to paint.

Hercule et le taureau de Crète (1879)
40.2 X 32.1 cm

Le sacrifice d'Isaac
54 X 45 cm

Bacchus ivre (1881)
32.5 X 40.5 cm

Under Devilly's tutelage, Friant did quite well.  He painted studies of still life, landscapes, and afterward portraits which he sold for thirty francs apiece.³  By the age of fifteen, Friant was exhibiting at Nancy, and had become a local celebrity known by the sobriquet "le petit Friant."⁴  A year later, the municipal council, in recognition of his abilities, granted the young Friant an allowance which enabled the young man to travel to Paris to continue his studies.

La Porte Saint-Georges, vue extérieure (1878)
45 X 55 cm

le Port de Malzéville (1881)
32.5 X 46 cm

Paysage aux alentours du Sport Nautique (1884)

43.2 X 33.3 cm

² Hamerton, p. 677.
³ idem.
⁴ idem.


Lisa Graham Art said...

This is interesting...shared on Twitter.

Ariel Gulluni said...

I never saw these academies by Friant... Thanks for sharing Matthew!

(I tried to get some decent reproduction or close ups of "Doleur", but in vane :()

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