French painter, lithographer and designer. Born at Étrépagny (Eure). Went to Paris 1880 and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts first under Bonnat, then under Cormon; met Lautrec, Bernard, van Gogh. Influenced by Delacroix and Michaelangelo, then in turn by Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism. Created Cloisonnisme with Bernard in 1887 under the influence of stained glass, Japanese prints and Cézanne. Exhibited with Bernard, Gauguin and others in 1889 as Groupe Impressionniste et Synthétiste. After working c.1892-6 as a painter of contemporary Parisian life in the tradition of Courbet and Daumier, turned against modern art and sought to revive the tradition of the Old Masters, especially Rubens, by studying anatomy (including carrying out dissections), proportions, perspective and earlier techniques and materials; published Rubens, sa Technique 1924. Designed cartoons for the Gobelins and Beauvais tapestry works. Died in Paris. A selection of his notes on painting, entitled De l'Art, was published in 1970.
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.14