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Victoria Dubourg Fantin-Latour

Still life with peaches

Oil on canvas  signed lower right 

11.02 x 16.93 inch cm

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Still life with peaches
Oil on canvas  signed lower right 
11.02 x 16.93 inch
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Biography of Victoria Dubourg Fantin-Latour

Victoria Dubourg was born in Paris in 1840.  Showing great artistic skills in her teens, she  first became a student of Fanny Cheron. In 1860, she met Edouard Manet who became a very good friend and who would have a great influence on her at the beginning of her career.

In 1866, as she was copying some masterworks in the Louvre museum, she met the artist Henri Fantin Latour. They  fell in love and got married 10 years later,  on 15 November  1876.

From 1869 to 1902, Victoria Dubourg exhibited regularly at the French Artists Salon.

She received a Honour Mention in 1894  for « Oeillets dans un vase », and a third medal in 1895 for « Panier de fleurs ». She was a member at the Royal Academy from 1882 to 1896. In 1920 she received the Legion d’Honneur.

Appreciated for her smartness, she used to be  surrounded by highly talented people, artists and writers. A very skilled piano player herself, she loved music and fought strongly in favour  of the « avant garde » german  composers,  contemporary of her time, like Wagner and Brahms.

She lived in Paris and used to spend every summer in the countryside with her husband Fantin-Latour chosing carefully the flowers for their floral paintings.

Victoria Fantin-Latour belonged to the circle of Edouard Manet, Berthe Morisot and Edgar Degas. The latter, a very close friend,  painted her portrait in 1868/69, (now in the Toledo Museum of Art). Stylewise, she always kept her distances from the Impressionnists. She specialized in studies of flowers and fruits, and her still-lifes are closer to those of Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin, whose tradition was to be reevalued  in the 19th century, by artists like Adolphe Felix Cals and François Bonvin.

Of course, she was also influenced by her husband’s with whom she used to paint jointly.

But she did manage to create her very own style. Focusing on the effects and contrasts of light and shades more than on details, she painted very harmonious floral compositions, often more sophisticated than her husband’s. One can also find some references to the Japanese  woodprints in her work.

Henri Fantin-Latour painted six portaits of his wife Victoria, including one for their wedding which is now in the museum of Grenoble. After his death, she devoted herself fully to his memory, promoting his paintings and working mainly on his catalogue raisonné until its publication in 1911.

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