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Cerises (Cherries), by Henri Fantin-Latour (1877)


Henri Fantin-Latour (14 January 1836 – 25 August 1904) was born in Grenoble (Isère).  He studied at l’École de Dessin (from 1850) under Lecoq de Boisbaudran and at l’École des Beaux-Arts, in Paris, beginning in 1854.  As did many students registered at l’École des Beaux-Arts, he copied the masters in the Louvre.

Fantin-Latour befriended many artists, some of whom became prominent Impressionists or transitional figures, such as Édouard Manet.  For his part, Fantin-Latour chose to paint in a more conservative and crisper manner and worked with Gustave Courbet.  But Fantin-Latour also met American-born British artist James MacNeill Whistler who very much admired Fantin-Latour still-lifes and introduced Fantin-Latour to a British public.  Fantin-Latour was so successful in Britain that he became better known in England than in France.

Fantin-Latour married Victoria Dubourg, an artist, and spent his summers at her family’s country estate near Orne, Normandy.  So, by and large, he lived a very stable life which is reflected in his art.  He never reached stardom, but his art has endured and will no doubt continue to endure.

In 1875, aged 68, Fantin-Latour died of lyme disease, a tick-borne disease that was almost impossible to treat before antibiotics became available.

Yesterday’s Blog: Tough Leadership

Yesterday’s blog depicted what I would call “tough leadership.”  The October Crisis of 1970 was a major event in Canadian history.  Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau implemented the War Measures Act which had never been done in peacetime.  His “Just watch me” has remained as famous as his “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation,” a statement he made at the time the Omnibus Bill (Bill C-150) or the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69, designed when Pierre Trudeau was Minister of Justice and the Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson (23 April 1897 – 27 December 1972), Canada’s Prime Minister and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate for his role in defusing the Suez Crisis.

The Sixties in Canada

The sixties, the late sixties in particular, were pivotal years in Canada.  First, under the leadership of Lester B. Pearson, Allan J. MacEachen designed Canada’s Social Programs: universal health care, the Canada Pension Plan, the Canada Student Loans, etc. (also see Social Programs in Canada)

Second, the Omnibus Bill (C-150), or the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69, was passed. “It proposed, among other things, to decriminalize homosexuality, allow abortion and contraception, and regulate lotteries, gun possession, drinking and driving offences, harassing phone calls, misleading advertising and cruelty to animals.” (Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69, Wikipedia)

Third, Prime Minister Pearson convened the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism which led to the Official Languages Act (September 9, 1969), since amended but nevertheless in force.

Forthcoming Articles

Henri Fantin-Latour
composer: Felix Mendelssohn (3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847)
piece: Song Without Words, Op. 109
performers: Miklós Perényi (cello) and Zoltán Kocsis (piano)
© Micheline Walker
October 30, 2012