French Post-Impressionist painter in oils and watercolour of landscapes, still life and figures. Born at Aix-en-Provence. Studied law at Aix 1859-61 on the insistence of his father, but also attended the local drawing academy. Abandoned his law studies in 1861 and moved to Paris; worked in the Atelier Suisse, where he met Pissarro. Exhibited at the Salon des Refusés in 1863. His early works, which were influenced by Delacroix and Manet, were regularly rejected by the Salon jury. Lived mainly in Paris and at Aix but spent 1872-4 at Pontoise and Auvers-sur-Oise close to Pissarro, under whose influence he brightened his palette and began to observe nature more closely. Exhibited with the Impressionists 1874-7, but sought to make of Impressionism 'something solid and enduring like the art of museums'. In his later years worked in isolation in Provence, mainly around Aix and at L'Estaque. His paintings were very rarely exhibited and known only to a small circle of artists and collectors until 1895, when he had his first one-man exhibition at the Galerie Vollard in Paris; recognition came in his last years. Died at Aix. His works have had profound influence on twentieth-century art.
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.103