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Léon Bonnat - French Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Léon Bonnat (1833 - 1922)

Leon Bonnat was born in France but lived in Madrid from 1846 to 1853. As a result, his early paintings were influenced by the Spanish art of that period. Around 1870, he turned to portraiture and was praised for his realistic depiction of his sitters. His talents earned him a considerable fortune and allowed him to amass a large collection and valuable art collection that was later donated to his home city of Bayonne. Bonnat was also the teacher of famous artists such as Georges Braque and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. His many portraits show the influence of Velázquez, Ribera and other Spanish masters, as well as Titian and Van Dyke, whose works he studied in the Prado. He won a medal of honor in Paris in 1869, where he became one of the leading artists of his day. Bonnat went on to win the Grand Officer of the Légion d'honneur and became a professor at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1882. Bonnat was quite popular with American students in Paris. He spoke several languages and knew English well, to the relief of many monolingual Americans. Bonnat founded a museum in his native city, donating his collection of old master drawings. The artist died in 1922.

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