Le Petite Barque by Friant
Émile Friant (16 April 1863 – 9 June 1932) was born in the commune of Dieuze.
He would later be forced to flee to Nancy by to the encroachment of the Kingdom of Prussia’s soldiers.
His paintings were featured throughout his lifetime at the Salon, until a tragic fall led to his demise in 1932.
Friant created works in charcoal, oil, and other media. He also used photographs to prepare finished paintings.
Friant’s Self portrait
Friant was born in the commune of Dieuze in 1863. His father was a locksmith and mother a dressmaker.
The wife of a chemist, Madame Parisot would hire the wife of Émile Friant’s father to design custom clothing.
The Parisots took an early interest in the young Friant and treated him maternally as they were without children of their own.
With the defeat of the Second French Empire at hand, as part of the then-ongoing Franco-Prussian War, Dieuze was no longer under state control.
Intensely distressed by this, Parisot intended to leave the commune for Nancy, but died shortly before having the chance. I
n 1871, Madame Parisot fled with Friant to Nancy while his biological family would follow later.
Emile Friant, La Toussant.
Friant was to 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.
Friant painted Le petit Friant at the age of 15. It was exhibited in Nancy and quickly became the center of public intrigue.
The municipal council granted him permission to travel to Paris a year later.
There, he studied under Alexandre Cabanel, who tutored him in creating oil sketches of historical works. Friant, becoming disenchanted by the academic style of the Atelier Method returned to Nancy.