Henri Fantin Latour

Fantin Latour, Henri was a painter and lithographer, born in France, in the year 1836. He died in 1904. We can describe him as an individual who had the passion for artistic works from the onset of his life. Born from a family that had a strong background in art, Fantin had the required background to nature his talent in artistic works. His father, who was also a painter, played a substantial role in molding Fantin’s talent of artistic works and paintings. Fantin pursued his studies in Dessin College, where he majored in Art studies (Kahn, 1927). He devoted himself to his potential and desire to become one of the greatest artists in the world’s history that he chose not to study any other course in college, but his childhood dream, Art.

After finishing his studies in college, Fantin put most of his free time copying artistic works of other established artists and in Paris. Coincidentally, Fantin got married to a fellow painter, Victoria Dubourg. This was a positive towards the ambitions of Fantin, since he was in the company of a woman who shared the same ambitions, hobby, likes, and habits. He spent some of his lifetime staying with his wife’s family, who were staying at Bure (Lucie-Smith, 1977).

The world remembers Fantin Latour mainly because of his many paintings portraying flowers and group portraits of his friends and some writers. Fantin made a significant contribution towards the movement that was agitating for the use of symbols in communicating and delivering information. Fantin Latour also created spectacular lithographs that were an illustration of some of the music of legendary classical music composers.

Fantin made a drawing to illustrate “still” life. In this drawing, he includes a hyacinth plant and a fruit, sitting on a plate. The drawing also includes a fruit species, most likely berries. This choice of plant and fruits are a true representation of still life. We all know that hyacinth is a plant that grows on still waters, especially on lakes. Fruits are also a representation of still life because they stationed on the stem or leaves of plants. This is an illustration of how Fantin introduced the use of drawings and paintings as a symbol of communicating actual life occurrences.

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Despite the fact that Fantin was a strong supporter of impressionists, his works were more conservative in nature, making it have that sense of photographic realism. His use and choice of colors was also exceptional and unique. It is so evident that through his comprehensive and flowery paintings that had the element of realism and his stylish lithographs, Fantin was able to influence subsequent painters who wanted to bring out the concept of symbolism in their paintings (Kahn, 1927).

Initially, most of Fantin’s paintings had the component of realism in them. However, after his friend Whistler invited him to England, Fantin identified a potential market for his artistic works and paintings there. He later on specialized in making flower and fantasy paintings.

Most of his works in his early days were portraits of his impressionist friends. Some of his friends included Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Frederic Bazzil and many more. Despite his exposure with other established painters in England, Fantin maintained his traditional techniques of drawing and painting. This is why he stands out as a successful painter.

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Being a greatest admirer of impressionists, he liked them a lot, which explains why the official establishment of painters rejected him, leaving him an isolated personality. His first principal paintings, known as Hommage a Delacroix is a true indicator of that early feel for psychological analysis. In these paintings, we see Fantin himself in one of the paintings, with his impressionist friends surrounding him. Fantin got an award for this piece of work, showing how people appreciated and adored his paintings.

Fantin Latour did not only make paintings of his impressionist friends; he also made paintings of some of his close family members. For example, he made a painting of his sister in law; Charlotte Dubourg. He also made portraits that indicate some of his best classical songs. For example, His portrait, ‘Night’ tries to bring out the unreal world that Fantin points out through his passion for some of the greatest classical composers like Schumann and Wagner. He later on developed these portraits into a sequence of lithographs (Lucie-Smith, 1977).

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As much as Fantin was associating himself with progressive artists, he remained a strong proponent of traditional techniques. He devoted the better part of his artistic career to lithography. His passionate admiration for classical music composer Richard Wagner motivated him to do a number of imaginative lithographs to illustrate his music and those by other composers.

One of the achievements that the world remembers Fantin for is participation in the famous salon of 1963. He was also a true friend and companion to the impressionists even though he did not follow their ways of making the portraits.

In conclusion, we can see a clear distinction between the artistic works of Fantin Latour and that of his impressionist counterparts. He embraces the traditional classical still life through the inclusion of realism and poetry in his paintings. Flowers later on became a cause of concern about Fantin’s paintings year 1872. Fantin became famous in England because of his use and liking of flowers in most of his portraits and paintings (Kahn, 1927). A good example of the use of traditional technique in making portraits is the Dutch painting during the seventeenth century. The work is purely traditional and brings out that old fashion technique. This piece of art has a component of remarkable dynamism, which makes the work a perfect example of the exemplary skills of Fantin-Latour.

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