French Impressionist painter in oil and pastel, mainly of landscape subjects; occasional etcher and lithographer. Born in Paris. Worked as a clerk first in a shop, then from 1860 with the railway company Compagnie d'Orléans; studied in his spare time at a municipal art school and later at the Académie Suisse, where he met Cézanne and Pissarro. Exhibited at the Salon des Refusés 1863. Took a job in 1868 with the Ponts et Chaussées, digging ditches. Continued painting views of Paris and neighbourhood in his spare time, and exhibited in six of the Impressionist exhibitions 1874-86. In 1891 a prize of 100,000 francs in a lottery enabled him to give up his job and paint full-time; also to travel more widely in search of motifs. Lived from 1893 mainly in Crozant in the valley of the Creuse, with periodic visits to Auvergne, Brittany, the Haute-Loire and especially the Côte d'Azur; also visited Holland in 1903-4. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1894. Died in Paris, the last surviving member of the original Impressionist group.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.344-5