*** French artists François-Auguste Biard

French Artists: François-Auguste Biard (1799-1882)

François-Auguste Biard
Figure 1.--Here we see a detsil from Biard's depiction of slavers taking on captured Africans off West Afruca. Note the cabin boy assisting with the branding of the captives. He is holding a lattern, because it was at sunset with evening approaching.

François-Auguste Biard was born in Lyon (1799). He was a largely self-taught painter, highly competenbt. He was bprn during drmatic times, but they were past before he began his artisti career. Our interest in art is primarily to help assess children's fashion before the advent of photography. Biard painted few childten in his work, but vhe was known for his adventurous travels which are depicted on his work, some of whichtouch on subjects addressed in our website. His parents planned for him to join the clergy , but from an early point his interest was painting. He began lerning at a wallpaper factory, He briefly attend the École des Beaux-Arts, leaving (1818). Hethen trveled to Italy, Greece, and the Middle East. His exhibited at the Salon and was noted (1824). He won a commissdion from the Archdiocese. He ehgged in more travel, this time to Malta, Cyprus. and Egypt (1827). Louis Philippe I became king (1830). He noted some of Biard's work and purchased some. He created a realistuic depiction of the slave trade (1833). (It is sometimes dated 1840.) While they seem extrodirarily accurate, as far as we know his travels never took him to West Africa. Biard was decorated with the Legion of Honor for his artistic achievenents (1838). He was part of a scientific expedition to the Arctic, resulting in a flury of intriguing paintings (1839). He married Léonie d’Aunet, a writer who had accomanied him on the Arctic expefition (1840). She soon became the mistress of the literary giant Victor Hugo, creating a huge scandal fillowed closely by the press. Biard then spent 2 years in Brazil -- his last great adventure (around 1858). He worked in the court of Brazilian Emperor Pedro II. Slavery was still legal in Brazil at the time. He traveled widely in Brazil, including into the Amazon. He was one of the first artits to depict the reclsive Amazonian people. Some of these images like those of the Arctic, verge on lyrical beauty. On the way home, he detoured through the United States just before the Civil War resulting in some images of slavery in its final years.


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Created: 11:31 PM 5/25/2022
SLast updated: 11:31 PM 5/25/2022