Wednesday, June 18, 2014
|Rosa 'Fantin Latour' |
When folks who visit our garden invariable
spot this pink rose with intense perfume that blooms (once) all of June they
ask me who she is. My answer is the usual one of, “It’s a mystery rose, perhaps
a centifolia, of unknown origin from the 19th century called Fantin-Latour.
Fantin Latour was a French painter." And that has been that since I first
acquired the rose back in 2008.
Only lately did I finally become curious enough
to find out about Henri Fantin-Latour (14 January 1836 – 25 August 1904) who
knew and was friendly with the impressionists but still painted in a
conservative fashion. He was known for his portraits of famous French people
and of flower paintings and lithographs.
|Self-portrait - 1859|
Marcel Proust mentions Fantin-Latour's work
in In Search of Lost Time:
Many young women's hands would be incapable
of doing what I see there,' said the Prince, pointing to Mme de Villeparisis's
unfinished watercolours. And he has asked her whether she had seen the flower
painting by Fantin-Latour which had recently been exhibited. (The Guermantes Way)
Marcel Proust was not the only French
author to admire Fantin-Latour. In 1880 Emile Zola was quoted:
The canvases of M. Fantin-Latour do not
assault your eyes, do not leap at you from the walls. They must be looked at
for a length of time in order to penetrate them, and their conscientiousness,
their simple truth—you take these in entirely, and then you return.
|Édouard Manet, 1867|
Fantin-Latour was a handsome man who
apparently led a mostly happy life. He was never troubled by the fact that his
friends, the impressionists became more famous.
I have a particular admiration for the man
because in the many times I have tried to photograph still lifes I have failed.
I will stick to portraiture in what remains of my life.
|An Atelier in the Batignolles, by
Fantin-Latour, Claude Monet, Emile Zola, August Renoir and others,
gathered around Edgar Manet, seated at his easel—the central figure in
what was to become the Impressionist movement. 1870|
|Henri Fantin-Latour, Charlotte Dubourg, 1882|
|Vase of roses - 1875|
|Henri Fanin-Latour, Roses in a Vase, 1872|
|Still Life with Roses and Torso, 1874|
| Naiade - lithograph|
|Rosa 'Fantin Latour' - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward|
|Caitlin Legault - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward|