PERFECTLY PAINTING PARISIAN LIFE, BETWEEN BOULEVARDS AND CAFES – Jean Béraud, the most Parisian of the Impressionists

A gallant painter man, always guided by the highest precepts of honor and taste

He enjoyed success throughout his career, though he was forgotten at the time of his death, due to a general lack of interest in Belle Époque painters. He was one of Marcel Proust’s witnesses in a duel that took place in 1897, due to an article deemed abusive. Jean Béraud was born in St. Petersburg, where his sculptor father worked on the works of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. After studying at the Parisian Condorcet high school, he followed the path of art and was admitted to the Salon in 1872. He became one of the main painters and witnesses of Parisian life during the Belle Époque.

Somewhere between the traditional Academic painting and the looser brushstrokes of early Impressionists, his style was similar to that of Degas and Tissot. Jean Béraud devoted himself to genre painting, mainly in the Parisian environment, and to portraits. His style is characterized by an impressionist realism that allowed him to represent the environment of the Parisian bourgeoisie, as well as small crafts and the daily scenes of the city.

Together with Rodin, he founded the Société nationale des beaux-arts in 1890. Jean Béraud received the Legion of Honor in 1887 in 1887. He did not marry, and had no children. He died in Paris, where he was buried in the Montparnasse Cemetery. Today, his works are in the collections the Louvre Museum in Paris, or at the Musée Carnavalet in Paris.

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