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Léon Bonnat (1833-1922) | Academic painter

Léon Joseph Florentin Bonnat was a French painter🎨, Grand Officer of the Légion d'honneur and professor at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1882.
Bonnat won a medal🎨 of honour in Paris in 1869, going on to become one of the leading artists of his day.
Bonnat was quite popular with American students in Paris. In addition to his native French, he spoke Spanish and Italian and knew English well, to the relief of many monolingual Americans.

In May 1905 he succeeded Paul Dubois as director of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Julius Kaplan characterised Bonnat as "a liberal teacher who stressed simplicity in art above high academic finish, as well as overall effect rather than detail".
Bonnat's emphasis on overall effect on the one hand, and rigorous drawing on the other, put him in a middle position with respect to the Impressionists and academic painters like his friend Jean-Léon Gérôme🎨.
In 1917, Bonnat was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Honorary Corresponding member.
As a teacher he encouraged freedom of expression and execution.
He recommended traveling to Madrid to visit the Prado Museum, and introduced in Paris the tendency paint in the Spanish way, which influenced the evolution of French painting. | © Wikipedia

Léon Bonnat | Portrait of Victor Hugo, 1879

Léon Joseph Florentin Bonnat (Bayonne, 20 giugno 1833 - Monchy-Saint-Éloi, 8 settembre 1922) è stato un pittore Francese🎨.
Originario di Bayonne dal 1846-1853 visse a Madrid, dove il padre aveva una libreria e dove studiò pittura con José de Madrazo y Agudo e Federico de Madrazo.
Giunse a Parigi, nel 1854 e fu allievo di Léon Cogniet🎨 nell'École des Beaux-Arts.
La sua "Resurrezione di Lazzaro" gli valse il secondo Prix de Rome nel 1857.

Abbandonò i soggetti storici e teatrali dopo un viaggio in Italia nel 1869 ed un altro in Grecia ed in Medio Oriente, preferendo scene di genere e soprattutto ritratti.
Di questi ne realizzò circa duecento, tra i quali i ritratti di Louis Pasteur, Alexandre Dumas figlio, Victor Hugo🎨, Dominique Ingres🎨, Hippolyte Taine, Jules Ferry, Armand Fallières, Adolphe Thiers e Émile Loubet.
Suo è anche il "Martirio di S. Denis🎨", dipinto per il Pantheon di Parigi.
Nel 1880 fu nominato professore nell'École des Beaux-Arts e, l'anno dopo, membro dell'Accademia di Belle Arti di Parigi; nel 1915 fu creato cavaliere dell'Ordre national du Mérite.