Henri-Frédéric Schopin 

The death of the Picador

realised in 1856, our painting shows the all dramaturgy of corrida, whose tragedy doesn’t escape from henri-frédéric schopin’s brushes. the new introduction of corrida with bull’s killing arrived in bayonne in august 1852. in 1853, napoleon iii married eugénie de montijo, countess of teba close to the spain crown. the new empress enjoyed the “races in the manner of spain”. she encouraged corridas that took place again in the 21st august 1853. as biarritz became the summer residence of the imperial family, napoleon iii and eugénie were present at corridas in bayonne in 1854, 1856 and 1857. they used to like culture of this outdoor spectacle. corrida became fashion and the painter schopin didn’t miss to seize this new subject in vogue. here, the painter used his knowledge of history painting to describe this fatal moment in the arena. the entire movement is focused on the foreground and while the bull already knocked a picador down, he gores the horse in the center of the composition. frightened and suffering the attack, the stallion shoots a pain look. schopin used the all diversity of his style to describe the central scene with many details while the background seems to get lost in a haze of sander. he totally felt the movement of the corrida and manages to make us tremble in the rhythm of this tragic instant.especially represented by spanish artists, like francisco de goya at the beginning of the 19th century, bullfighting has also been the subject of wonderful paintings by edouard manet circa 1865, and then became a central theme of picasso’s work.

49.21 x 62.99 inch

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Henri-Frédéric Schopin 

Henri-Frédéric Schopin 

Biography of Henri-Frédéric Schopin  ( 1804-1880 )

Born in Lübeck, Germany from French parents, Henri-Frédéric Schopin was the son of sculptor Jean-Louis Théodore Chopin who worked to the decoration of the Imperial Palace of Saint Petersburg upon Catherine II of Russia’s request. The young boy received his first artistic learning with his father. Between 1821 and 1831, Schopin studied at the Paris’ Fine-Arts School in the studio of Baron Gros.

From 1826, he applied for the competition of Great Prize of painting in Rome and won the second rank in 1830. He improved again his technique and gained the First Great Prize of Rome in 1831 for history painting, thanks to his swift and vigorous style.

During his stay in Rome, the painter prepared carefully his return to Paris and sent four paintings during the 1835’s Paris Salon. Here, he directly obtained a first-class medal and was going to exhibit at the Salon until 1879. 

In 1830, he married Nathalie-Sophie Dailly and became the son in law of the actor Armand-Dailly, member of the Comédie-Française. From 1831, the painter decided to change his name by appending a “S” in front of his surname to be distinguished from the young pianist Frédéric Chopin, already famous in the Parisian society at that time. 

Due to his perfect style, Henri-Frédéric Schopin was famous as well in history painting and religious painting than in portraits, scenes of genre, landscapes or even orientalist paintings.

Two large battle scenes “La Prise d’Antioche” and “La Bataille d’Hohenlinden » have been ordered by King Louis-Philippe to Schopin for the Museum of History, opened in the Palace of Versailles in 1837. A few years later in 1860, Napoleon III acquired three paintings directly in Schopin’s studio. Nominated knight of the Legion of Honor in 1854, Schopin became member of the Imperial Academy of Russia during a stay in Saint-Petersburg. Many of his paintings have been engraved by Jazet, and helped him to make his name famous.


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