12/07/15 Aggiornato il:

Jean-François Raffaëlli | La Belle Époque




Jean-Francois Raffaëlli was born in Paris into a bourgeois family in which he enjoyed a privileged childhood until the age of fourteen when a reversal of his father's business fortunes forced him to seek employment. He held a series of jobs before being placed, unwillingly, in a commercial house as a book-keeper at the age of sixteen. While working there, he began to visit the Louvre and to spend his Sundays in the Musée de Luxembourg. His initial artistic interest was in drawing and as he developed this passion, he gave up his job and supported himself by singing in theatres and churches.



Although he had received no formal training, one of his landscapes was accepted by the Salon Jury in 1870. The following year he enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux Arts where he studied in the studio of Gérôme for three months.
For the first period of his artistic development, Rafaëlli turned to Corot, Roybet, Gérôme and Fortuny, painting mainly landscapes and historical costume pieces but suddenly and without apparent warning, he produced a powerful portrait of a Breton peasant family in 1876 entitled La famille de Jean le Boiteaux.
Exhibited at the Salon of 1877, the work heralded a new phase in the artist's career. Rafaëlli was one of the young artists who gathered around Degas at the Cafè de la Nouvelles-Athenes, and through the older painter's influence, he was invited to exhibit with the Impressionists in 1880 and 1881. During the late 1870's and 80's, he painted many aspects of the rapidly expanding suburbs of Paris, frequently portraying rag-pickers and garlic sellers, people who were being made redundant by the onset of urbanisation. | © CHRISTIE'S










































































Jean-François Raffaelli (Parigi, 20 aprile 1850 – Parigi, 11 febbraio 1924) è stato un pittore Francese.
Di formazione autodidatta, frequentò per breve tempo lo studio di Jean-Léon Gérôme, senza però trarne particolari insegnamenti. La sua ansia di conoscenza per le cose dell'arte lo spinse a compiere una serie di viaggi in Italia, Spagna ed Algeria. Legatosi in amicizia con i pittori impressionisti, fu invitato da loro ad esporre alla prima mostra tenuta nello studio del fotografo Nadar nel 1874.
Abile disegnatore, dalla resa rapida ed immediata, Raffaelli oppose alla pittura impressionista una visione realista, permeata da vaghi ideali umanitari. I suoi temi preferiti sono certi scorci di periferia colti nello squallore di paesaggio popolato da povere genti: inconfondibili sono certe sue puntesecche in cui ritrae l'infanzia che si aggira, quasi sperduta, fra cumuli di rifiuti, cercandovi qualcosa di imprevisto, un vecchio giocattolo o forse qualcosa da mangiare.
Nelle opere della maturità si volse poi verso immagini più serene, vedute di paesaggi, impressioni di marine, ricordi di città. Opere che rivelano come l'artista avesse perduto il mordente iniziale.