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Pierre A Jeanniot

Biography of Artist

Pierre Georges JEANNIOT

French 19/20th Century

The artistic education of Pierre-Georges Jeanniot began with his father, Pierre-Alexandre (1826-1892), a long time director of l'École des Beaux-Arts of Dijon, France. Nevertheless, Pierre-Georges Jeanniot started out pursuing a military career, as an infantry officer (1866-1881), but he never ceased drawing. He was known for the first time in 1872 at the art exhibition Salon de Paris, where he presented a watercolor painting called Intérieur de forêt. The next year he presented the painting Le Vernan à Nass-sous-Sainte-Anne. From then on he was a regular contributor to the Salon de Paris, where he presented new works with views of Toulouse, Paris, Troyes, the edges of the Seine, and some portraits.

In 1881, after the army offered him the rank of commandant, he resigned to devote himself exclusively to painting. He took up residence in Paris. His works from this period represent mainly scenes of military life that allowed him to forge a reputation. Jeanniot established himself permanently in 1882 and obtained his first award the following year (medal third class of the Salon de Paris) with his les Flanqueurs (1883). In 1886, La ligne de feu, souvenirs de la bataille de Rezonville, remembering the Battle of Mars-La-Tour (Museum of Pau), assured his notoriety.

From then on, he started to show a certain artistic independence. He then mostly portrayed Parisian women during the "Belle Epoque", women in bathing suits on the beaches (a new phenomenon in those times) or scenes on the race course. These paintings give us a vivid sociological portrayal of his times. But as soon as the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts was founded in 1899, he rallied to their new painting trend.

In Paris, he secured himself friendships and memories of Edouard Manet, Pierre Puvis of Chavannes, Jean-Louis Carnival, Paul Helleu, and especially with Edgar Degas, whom he revered as a master. He spent much time with Edgar Degas in his family home in Diénay).

He was gifted with many talents and also excelled with his drawings. He showed in his drawings his passion and his artistic strength. They are vivacious, expressive and enthusiastic, while at the same time, rendering with a sense of humour the picturesque scenes of daily life. During the next decades he illustrated a large number of literary books, among them Le Voyage à Saint-Cloud, Germinie Lacerteux (1886), Contes choisis", 1886), "Les Liaisons dangereuses" (1917). He was also one of the illustrators of Les Miserables (Victor Hugo) 1887), La Débâcle et La Curée (Emile Zola), 1893-1894),), and Candide (Voltaire)) and many more.

He was one of the first collaborators of the review La Vie Moderne and also contributed to the review La Lutte Moderne. In a later stage he became the director of Le Journal Amusant, while also offering contributions to Rire and L’Echo de Paris..

As an engraver, he also sketches ironic scenes from the daily life depicting in lively traits the snobs of Paris. His talents suggest a resemblance to the works of Toulouse-Lautrec and Mary Cassatt.. At the same time he also used the woodcut printing technique allowing vivid contrasts between dark and bright parts of the image.

His works can be found in many museums, though most are situated in France (Alais, Nancy, Paris, Carnavalet, Pau, Toul and Toulouse), but some in other countries (Oslo, New York, Buenos Aires).

List of honours

1882 :Honourable mention, Salon de paris

1884 : Third-class medal, Salon de Paris

1889, 1900 : Silver medal, Salon de Paris

1906 : Chevalier in the Legion d’honneur