Jean Louis Forain (French, 1931)

Chronik

Jean Louis Forain was a painter, illustrator and print maker and is frequently compared to Rembrandt for his emotional power as an etcher. After studying at the Ecole des Beaux Art in Paris under Jean Léon Gèrome he became an illustrator for the periodicals Le Monde Parisien and Le rire satirique. During this period he came into contact will all aspects of Parisian social life and started to paint the characters he encountered and at the salon of Nina de Callais in the early 1870s he met, through his friend Degas, Claude Monet on whom he is widely considered to have had a remarkable influence and it has been suggested that his small gouache Café scene (The Brooklyn Museum, New York) was the inspiration for Manet’s famous Bar at the Folies Bergère.
Forain exhibited with the Impressionists from 1884 to 1886 and again in 1888. The critic Gustave Geoffroy called him ‘a talent capable of expressing worldly elegance’ and Octave Maus wrote in ‘Art Moderne’ in 1886 ‘He is the poet of corruption in evening clothes, of dandyism in the boudoirs, of high life masking empty hearts’.