French painter and lithographer of portraits, still life and imaginative compositions. Born at Grenoble, son of a French painter of Italian descent and a Russian mother. Moved to Paris 1841. Studied under his father and 1850-3 at the Petite Ecole under Lecoq de Boisbaudran; then in 1854 for some months at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Also attended the studio opened briefly by Courbet in 1861 and copied almost daily in the Louvre until 1870, in particular works by Titian and Veronese. Friendship with Whistler and Legros. Exhibited at the Salon des Refusés 1863. Met Manet, Renoir, Bazille and others, and joined them in the cafés of Montmartre in the 1860s; painted 'Homage to Delacroix' 1864, 'Studio in the Batignolles' 1870. From about 1870 worked in isolation. Exhibited at the Paris Salon 1861-99 and at the Royal Academy 1862-1900. Visited England in 1859, 1861, 1864 and 1881. After 1890 refused to paint portraits, and concentrated on imaginative compositions and still life. Died at Buré (Orne).
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.214