Jean-Francois Rafaelli (Paris 1850-1924 Paris)
Of the many now famous artists associated with the movement of French Impressionism it can be stated that Jean-Francois Raffaelli was one of its finest etchers. After finishing his studies in the atelier of Gerome, Raffaelli began to exhibit his art at the Paris Salon in 1870. By 1880, Raffaelli had become a leading member of the Salon des Independants, along with such other artists as Degas, Monet, Pisarro and Renoir.
Unlike most of the Impressionists, Jean-Francois Raffaelli devoted himself more to original print making than to painting. Delteil's catalogue raisonne on Jean-Francois Raffaelli's graphic art lists one hundred and eighty-three prints, with all but five in the mediums of etching and engraving. His drypoint engravings (both in colours and in black and white) made him famous, particularly in his studies of Parisian life. One contemporary critic labeled him the "Millet of Paris". Another scholar wrote, "In quest of character, Jean-Francois Raffaelli was naturally drawn to the poor classes, who, being less artificial, less affected by the leveling tendencies of a complex social life, offered to the artist's keen observation an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Like Millet, he expressed the life of the poor in their attitudes. ... He is a wizard in characterizing surface appearances; a brilliant 'imagier', an exquisite illustrator; and as a drypoint artist the author of plates which will never cease to delight the connoisseur." * (F. L. Leipnik, A History of French Etching, London, John Lane, 1924, p. 183.)
The rag-and-bone man.
A classic Impressionist image.
LA NEIGE, SOLEIL COUCHANT, 1907
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