France / 1863 - 1932
Émile Friant (16 April 1863, Dieuze – 9 June 1932, Paris), French painter and engraver. The son of a locksmith and a dressmaker, a client of his mother took an interest in the young Friant and, having no children of her own, undertook to provide for his education. Originally studying chemistry, his aptitude for art soon brought about a change in the direction of his studies. Because of the disturbances caused by the Franco-Prussian War, he, his patroness, and his family had moved to Nancy, and there he began intensive training, focusing on still life and landscape painting. At 15, a painting he exhibited made him a local celebrity in Nancy and, the next year, the municipal council granted him an allowance to go and further his training in Paris. He studied with Alexandre Cabanel, but later became disenchanted by the academic style and working within the atelier system, and returned to Nancy. Beginning in 1882, he began exhibiting at the Paris Salon. He went on to win second place in the Prix de Rome in 1883, winning two more medals at subsequent Salons, and was awarded the gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1889. In the last decades of the 19nth century and the first of the twentieth, he devoted much energy to printmaking, mainly drypoint. He became a professor of drawing at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1906, and was appointed a professor of painting there in 1923. He was also promoted, in 1931, to the position of commander in the Légion d'honneur. He died as the result of a fall at the age of 69.