French Impressionist painter, etcher and lithographer of landscapes and figures. Born in Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies, of French parents. Accompanied the Danish artist Fritz Melbye to Caracas 1853-5, making drawings and watercolours, then moved to Paris in 1855 to study art. After a brief period at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, left to work at the Académie Suisse where he met Monet, Cézanne and Guillaumin. Influenced by Corot and then by Courbet. Settled in 1866 at Pontoise where he gave advice about 1872-4 to Cézanne and later to Gauguin, occasionally painting alongside them from the same motif. Contributed to all six Impressionist exhibitions 1874-86, and was the most constant supporter of the group. After meeting Seurat and Signac in 1885, worked 1885-90 with a Divisionist technique. Moved in 1882 from Pontoise to Osny and in 1884 settled at Eragny near Gisors (Eure). First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1883. From 1893 began to paint series of views of Paris (the Boulevard Montmartre, the Pont Neuf, etc.), and also series of Rouen, Dieppe and Le Havre. Died in Paris.
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, p.610