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Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier

Biography of Artist

Born in Lyon on 21 February 1815 and died in Paris on 31 January 1891

French Painter, sculptor and illustrator and although he was briefly a student of Jules Potier and Leon Cogniet, he was mainly self taught and gained experience by designing wood-engravings for book illustrations. These included Leon Curmer’s celebrated edition of J.H. Bernardin de Saint-Pierre’s Paul et Virginie (Paris 1838), the series Les Francais peints par eux-memes (Paris 1840 - 1842) and Louis de Chevigne’s Les Contes remois (Paris 1858)

Such images, typically measuring 60 x 90mm and composed of still-life motifs (books of drapery cascading from a chest, intricately arranged and exhaustively detailed) helped form the style for which Meissonier became famous as a painter.

Amongst his patrons were Duke Henri-Eugene-Phillippe-Louis de Bourbon, the 4th Marquess of Hertford, William Henry Vanderbuilt, 7th Duke of Bourbon, and amongst his pupils were Edouard Detaille, and Herman Frederick Carel ten Kate.

Many of his works have been in the Major Galleries throughout the World and his battle scenes are amongst the most recognisable in many major exhibitions. His works have been auctioned throughout the world and command the very highest of pices.