Édouard Debat-Ponsan

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Biography of Édouard Debat-Ponsan ( 1847-1913 )

Edouard Debat-Ponsan was a pupil at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse, then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris where Cabanel was his teacher. Winning the second prize in Rome in 1873, he was one of the most prolific genre painters of his time. He exhibited at the Salon as from 1870, winning a second medal in 1874. This same year, he received the Troyon prize at the Institute. After having been admitted to the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1889, he was then dismissed and then refused the bronze medal which had been awarded by the jury. In 1894 he painted “La Couronne de Toulouse” on the ceiling of the Illustres room in the Toulouse Capitole. Four years later, this supporter of Dreyfus painted a large allegorical canvas entitled “La vérité sortant du puits” (musée d’Amboise), which provoked a severe breakdown of relations between the artist and the bourgeois society, to whom he owed his reputation. He therefore lost some of his clientele and the esteem of some of his friends and members of his family. The subjects he chooses in his works are varied, since he is just as well a painter of historical compositions, landscapes of an academic nature, portraits, numerous peasantry scenes as well as orientalist scenes, the latter being quite rarely represented. Edouard Debat-Ponsan participated in naturalism, a fundamental movement at the end of the XIXth century. His liking for the portrayal of manners, stamped with realism references, perfectly integrates the impressionists’ techniques

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