Jean Louis Forain (French, 1852 - 1932)
Au Vatican, A set of three drawings
Pencil and ink on paper x 3
(a) 7.3/8 x 6in. (18.8 x 15.2cm.) (b) 5.1/4 x 6.7/8in. (13.3 x 17.3cm.) (c) 2.7/8 x 6.7/8in. (7.3 x 17.3cm.)
(a) signed with initial 'F.'
All newly framed in a limed wood frame, in a cream mount behind glass.
Jean Louis Forain was a French Impressionist painter born in Reims but by 8 he was already in Paris. He worked as a caricaturist initially. These examples show his skills in that area. After working for several Paris journals including 'Le Monde Parisien' and 'Le Rire' he enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux Arts studying under Jerome and Carpeaux. He was a very witty man and befriended poets and writers of the period. He was the youngest artist to frequent and participate in the feverish debates lead by Edward Manet and Edgar Degas at the Cafe de la Nouvelle, Athenes in Montmartre. A follower and protege of Degas, Forain joined the impressionist circle in time to take part in the 4th independent exhibition in 1879. He participated in a further 3 impressionist exhibitions. His subjects focused mainly on themes of modernity - The race track, the ballet, the comic opera and bustling cafes. Forain is the most famous caricaturist of the Belle Epoque and drew for the 'Figuro' for 30 years. He was made a member of the Royal Academy of London in 1931 shortly before his death. Followers and admirers include Henri Toulouse Lautrec.