n. d., Henri Fantin-Latour
Oil on canvas
21.5 x 32.4 cm
Fantin-Latour captured the poetry of simple things in a style that was monumental, clear and free of distracting or enigmatic symbolism. The satiny surface of the peaches appears almost tangible in the warm interior illumination in which the entire scene is bathed. The son of a portrait painter and future pupil of Courbet drew inspiration from the Louvre, where he used the work of eighteenth-century still-life painters as models, most notably that of Jean Siméon Chardin and the latter's artistic heir Anne Vallayer-Coster. Although he was friendly with numerous Impressionists, Fantin-Latour always considered himself to be a realist. The Frenchman visited England several times thanks to his fellow painter and friend James Whistler. His painting style was greatly appreciated by English collectors in particular. Fantin-Latour would later prove a seminal influence on Odilon Redon and the young generation of French Symbolists.
Henri Fantin-Latour was born in Grenoble 1836 and died in Buré/Orne in 1904.