Once again the Musée du Luxembourg puts together a marvellous jewel of an exhibition that invites us to discover a chapter of art history we may not be so familiar with. Best known for his exquisite still-lifes and group portraits, Henri Fantin-Latour’s work was a great success across the channel in England. Once his paintings were selling well, he was able to explore his imaginative and more creative side a little further.
As a teenager, his first job, as an apprentice creating copies of the great masterpieces in the Louvre, taught him extraordinary technical skill and finely honed his patience. Later in his career, as he gained a degree of financial independence, he explored with great relish a more poetic vein – approaching that of the Symbolists.
This exhibition offers a rich panorama that includes over 120 works, paintings, lithographs, drawings and other preparatory studies. Following the timeline, it is clear to see why his excellent still-lifes made him a victim of his own success. It is wonderful to see his new-found energy when he was finally able to break the chains of convention and could paint what he was really passionate about.
Until February 12 at the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris.
From France Today magazine