Émile Friant, Impressive Realism

Émile Friant (16 April 1863 – 9 June 1932) was a French artist. Friant was born in the commune of Dieuze. He would later be forced to flee to Nancy by the encroachment of the Kingdom of Prussia’s soldiers. He exhibited paintings throughout his lifetime at the Paris Salon. Friant created works in charcoal, oil, and other media. He also used photographs to prepare finished paintings.


Friant was sent to the lycée to learn Latin, as Madame Parisot intended for him to follow in her husband’s footsteps and become a chemist. Meanwhile, friends of his biological father had suggested sending him to a municipal school of art because of his skill with the brush. Because of his poor work at the lycée, Friant requested permission to leave and focus on his art. His father agreed, and the young Friant was placed under the guide of a private tutor who would arrange his academic work so that time remained for painting. Under the guidance of Louis-Théodore Devilly, director of a school in Nancy and a proponent of realism, Friant learned the art of still life and landscape painting.


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