Bonvin, François

BORN 22 Nov 1817, Paris - DIED 19 Dec 1887, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines
GRAVE LOCATION Le Pecq, Yvelines: Cimetière, Rue du Souvenir

François Bonvin came from a poor family. Thanks to the support of a civil servant he was able to visit a drawing school. He worked at a police station in Paris where he was discovered as an artist by an official in a high position.

His work was soon recognized by critics and collectors. He knew Gustave Courbet and was influenced by Courbet's theories on Realism. He travelled to the Netherlands and to England before he settled in St. Germain-en-Laye. In 1847 his work was accepted at the Salon in Paris and he exhibited there until 1880.

During the Second Empire his still lifes, genre scenes and portraits were popular. In 1859 he organised an exhibition for artists that had been rejected by the Salon, among them Legros, Fantin-Latour Whistler and Ribot. In 1860 his friendship with Courbet ended. In 1870 he received the L'egion d'Honneur, but by 1880 interest in his work had faded. After an operation in 1881 he became blind. In 1887 his friends organised a charity exhibition to help him with his physical and financial troubles. He died soon afterwards.

Related persons
• has a connection with Jacomin, Marie Ferdinand


The grave of François Bonvin at the cemetery of Le Pecq, Yvelines.
Picture by Androom (18 Nov 2006)


• Beyern, Bertrand, Guide des Cimetières en France, Le Cherche Midi Éditeur, Paris, 1994
Wikipedia (FR):

Booth, William

Published: 20 Oct 2007
Last update: 26 Jan 2022