Émile Friant (1April 1863, Dieuze, Moselle – June 1932) was a French artist. Friant was born in the commune of Dieuze, however he was later forced to flee to Nancy. Throughout his lifetime, his paintings were featured at the Salon. Friant died after a fall in Paris in 1932.
Friant was born in the commune of Dieuze in 1863. His father was a locksmith, and his mother a dressmaker. Madame Parisot, the wife of a chemist, would hire Friant's wife to design custom pieces of clothing. The Parisots treated Friant maternally as they were without children.
Due to the Franco-Prussian War, Dieuze was no longer under French control. Parisot had been intensely distressed by this and intended to flee for Nancy, but died before being able to do so. In 1871, Madame Parisot fled with Friant to Nancy, and Friant's biological family followed later.
Friant was to learn Latin at the lycée as Madame Parisot intended for him to become a chemist. Friends of Friant's father suggested sending him to a municipal school of art. Because of his poor work at the lycée, Friant asked for permission to leave and focus on his art. His father agreed, and Friant was placed under a private tutor that would arrange work so that it left time for painting. Under the guidance of Louis Devilly, director of a school in Nancy and a proponent of realism, Friant painted still life and landscapes.
Friant painted Le petit Friant at the age of 15. It was exhibited in Nancy, and he became a 'local celebrity' as a result. The municipal council allowed him to travel to Paris a year later. There he studied under Alexandre Cabanel, who directed him to do oil sketches of historical works. Friant, now disenchanted by the academic style and Atelier Method of painting, left for Nancy. The SalonMadame Coquelin's portrait
In 1882, Aime Morot, a friend of Friant, encouraged him to debut two of his works at the Salon: The Prodigal Son and Studio Interior. In 1883, Friant took second place in the Prix de Rome and presented at the Salon. At his next two Salon presentations, over the following two years, he won third-class and second-class honors respectively. Friant formed a lasting friendship with Ernest and Benoit Coquelin. With the grant he received from the Salon of 1886, he traveled to and studied in the Netherlands. His painting of the Coquelins' mother reflects the effects of that journey. Later life
In 1923, Friant was appointed a professor of painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was also promoted to the position of commander in the Legion of Honor. Lastly, Friant was made a member of the Institut de France. In 1932, Friant fell to his death in Paris.