Jean Francois Raffaelli French Painter 1850 AD - 1924 AD
Jean-François Raffaëlli (April 20, 1850 - February 11, 1924) was a French realist painter, sculptor, and printmaker who exhibited with the Impressionists. He was also active as an actor and writer. He was born in Paris, and showed an interest in music and theatre before becoming a painter in 1870. One of his landscape paintings was accepted for exhibition at the Salon in that same year. In October 1871 he began three months of study under Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris; he had no other formal training. Raffaëlli produced primarily costume pictures until 1876, when he began to depict the people of his time—particularly peasants, workers, and rag-pickers seen in the suburbs of Paris—in a realistic style. His new work was championed by influential critics such as J.-K. Huysmans, as well as by Edgar Degas. Degas invited Raffaëlli to participate in the Impressionist exhibitions of 1880 and 1881, an action that bitterly divided the group; not only was Raffaëlli not an Impressionist, but he threatened to dominate the 1880 exhibition with his outsized display of 37 works. Monet, resentful of Degas's insistence on expanding the Impressionist exhibitions by including several realists, chose not to exhibit, complaining, The little chapel has become a commonplace school which opens its doors to the first dauber to come along. After 1890 Raffaëlli shifted his attention from the suburbs of Paris to city itself, painting street scenes that were well received by the public and the critics. In the later years of his life, he concentrated on color printmaking. He died in Paris in 1924.