Émile Munier

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Émile Munier
Munier photograph 1893.jpg
Émile Munier c.1893
Émile Munier

(1840-06-02)2 June 1840
Died29 June 1895(1895-06-29) (aged 55)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Known for Painter
Movement French Academic, Realism
Patron(s) Chapman H. Hyams

Émile Munier (2 June 1840 29 June 1895) was a French academic artist and student of William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

Academic art style of painting and sculpture produced under the influence of European academies of art

Academic art, or academicism or academism, is a style of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced under the influence of European academies of art. Specifically, academic art is the art and artists influenced by the standards of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts, which was practiced under the movements of Neoclassicism and Romanticism, and the art that followed these two movements in the attempt to synthesize both of their styles, and which is best reflected by the paintings of William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Thomas Couture, and Hans Makart. In this context it is often called "academism", "academicism", "art pompier" (pejoratively), and "eclecticism", and sometimes linked with "historicism" and "syncretism".

William-Adolphe Bouguereau 19th-century French painter

William-Adolphe Bouguereau was a French academic painter. In his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body. During his life he enjoyed significant popularity in France and the United States, was given numerous official honors, and received top prices for his work. As the quintessential salon painter of his generation, he was reviled by the Impressionist avant-garde. By the early twentieth century, Bouguereau and his art fell out of favor with the public, due in part to changing tastes. In the 1980s, a revival of interest in figure painting led to a rediscovery of Bouguereau and his work. Throughout the course of his life, Bouguereau executed 822 known finished paintings, although the whereabouts of many are still unknown.



Émile Munier was born in Paris on 2 June 1840 and lived with his family at 66 rue des Fossés, St. Marcel. His father, Pierre François Munier, was an artist upholsterer at the Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins and his mother, Marie Louise Carpentier, was a polisher in a cashmere cloth mill. [1] Émile and his two brothers, François and Florimond, were talented artists and each spent some time at the Gobelins. [1] At the factory Abel Lucas trained Marnier as a draughtsman [2] and he developed a close relationship with Lucas and his family, eventually marrying Lucas' daughter, Henriette, [1] in 1861. [2] In 1867, Henriette gave birth to a son, Emile Henri. Six weeks after the birth, having contracted severe rheumatism, Henriette died prematurely. [1] Sargine Augrand, a student of Lucas and a close friend of Émile and Henriette (before she died), caught Émile’s eye; they married in 1872 and lived in a small apartment and studio. [1] The couple had one child, a daughter, Marie-Louise, born in 1874. [1]

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.

Upholstery work of providing furniture, especially seats, with padding, springs, webbing, and fabric or leather covers

Upholstery is the work of providing furniture, especially seats, with padding, springs, webbing, and fabric or leather covers. The word upholstery comes from the Middle English word upholder, which referred to an artisan who held up their goods. The term is equally applicable to domestic, automobile, airplane and boat furniture, and can be applied to mattresses, particularly the upper layers, though these often differ significantly in design. A person who works with upholstery is called an upholsterer. An apprentice upholsterer is sometimes called an outsider or trimmer. Traditional upholstery uses materials like coil springs (post-1850), animal hair, coir, straw and hay, hessians, linen scrims, wadding, etc., and is done by hand, building each layer up. In contrast, today's upholsterers employ synthetic materials like dacron and vinyl, serpentine springs, and so on.

Gobelins Manufactory tapestry works in Paris, France

The Gobelins Manufactory is a historic tapestry factory in Paris, France. It is located at 42 avenue des Gobelins, near Les Gobelins métro station in the 13th arrondissement of Paris.


During the 1860s, Munier received three medals at the Beaux-Arts and in 1869 he exhibited at the Paris Salon. He became a great supporter of the Academic ideals and a follower of Bouguereau, whose subject matter would be an important inspiration to the young Munier. [1] Bouguereau's quality of work and composition are reflected in Munier's artworks. [3] The pair became close friends and Munier frequently visited Bougereau's studio; [1] the latter used the nicknames "La sagesse" or "Le sage Munier" when referring to Munier. [3] The glass designer Émile Gallé was another artist Munier was known to work with from around 1869. [2]

École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts National School of Fine Arts in Paris, France

The École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts is a fine arts grand school of PSL Research University in Paris, France.

Émile Gallé French glass artist and cabinetmaker

Émile Gallé was a French artist who worked in glass, and is considered to be one of the major forces in the French Art Nouveau movement.

Munier ceased work at the tapestry factory in 1871 and devoted his time solely to painting; [2] he also began teaching classes to adults three nights a week. [1] Leland Stanford, Jr., the only child of Governor Leland Stanford of California and his wife Jane Stanford, died aged fifteen in 1884, and during that year Munier was commissioned by Jane Stanford to immortalise their son by way of a painting. [4] The oil on canvas entitled Angel comforting his grieving mother shows the boy with his hand on his mother's shoulder returning to earth as an angel to comfort her. [4] Today, in the 21st century, the painting forms part of a display in the Cantor Centre for the Visual Arts at Stanford University. [5]

Governor of California Head of Government in the US State of California

The Governor of California is the head of government of the U.S. state of California. The California Governor is the chief executive of the state government and the commander-in-chief of the California National Guard and the California State Military Reserve.

Leland Stanford American politician and railroad tycoon

Amasa Leland Stanford was an American tycoon, industrialist, politician, and the founder of Stanford University. Migrating to California from New York at the time of the Gold Rush, he became a successful merchant and wholesaler, and continued to build his business empire. He spent one two-year term as Governor of California after his election in 1861, and later eight years as a United States Senator. As president of Central Pacific Railroad, beginning in 1861, and later Southern Pacific, he had tremendous power in the region and a lasting impact on California. He is widely considered a robber baron.

California U.S. state in the United States

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

In 1885 he painted, and exhibited at the Paris Salon, Trois Amis (Three Friends). This painting, representing a chubby girl playing on her bed with a kitten and a dog, was an extremely successful work, being reproduced in many forms and used for publicity posters by Pears soap. With this work, Emile asserted himself as one of 'the' painters of young children and their pets; it was eventually acquired by an American collector. [1]

Among his many American patrons were Chapman H. Hyams and his wife, who were important collectors of contemporary French paintings during the nineteenth century and favoured artists like Henner, Bouguereau, Gérôme, Vinel and Schreyer. Munier painted their portrait in 1889, and it, along with much of their collection, is now in the New Orleans Museum of Art. [1]

Chapman Henry Hyams, Sr. was a nineteenth and twentieth century stockbroker, art collector and philanthropist.

Jean-Jacques Henner French painter

Jean-Jacques Henner was a French painter, noted for his use of sfumato and chiaroscuro in painting nudes, religious subjects, and portraits.

Jean-Léon Gérôme 19th-century French painter and sculptor

Jean-Léon Gérôme was a French painter and sculptor in the style now known as academicism. The range of his oeuvre included historical painting, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits, and other subjects, bringing the academic painting tradition to an artistic climax. He is considered one of the most important painters from this academic period. He was also a teacher with a long list of students.

During the 1890s Munier continued to paint peasant, mythological and religious subjects; [1] he also portrayed animals, scenes depicting fishing, landscapes and seascapes. [2] Many of his works featured his children as his models, particularly his daughter. [6] In 1893 he exhibited L'esprit de la chute d'eau, at the Paris Salon, a nude nymph which is not unlike Naissance de Vénus by Bouguereau. [1]

In 1895 Munier painted La jeune fille et le panier de chatons, but on 29 June, a few weeks after his 55th birthday, he died. [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "Biography", Emile Munier, Rehs Galleries Inc., retrieved 19 August 2014
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Munier, Émile" , Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Oxford Art Online, Oxford University Press, retrieved 22 June 2015
  3. 1 2 "Émile Munier (French, 1840-1895)", Christies, archived from the original on 22 June 2015, retrieved 22 June 2015
  4. 1 2 Mills (2014).
  5. Johnston, Theresa, "Grief's Beauty", Stanford University, archived from the original on 22 June 2015, retrieved 22 June 2015
  6. "Emile Munier (French, 1840-1895)", Bonhams, archived from the original on 23 June 2015, retrieved 23 June 2015