Today's Hours
Museum: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Today's Hours
Museum: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Faivre, Antoine Jean
(1830-1905)
Collection: European Collection
Specialty: Paintings
Little is known about the life of Antoine Faivre. He was born in Besancon,
France on May 24, 1830. Popularly known as Tony, he studied with
Francois-Edouard Picot (1786-1868) who also taught Adolph William
Bouguereau and Alexandre Cabanel. While Faivre seems to have supported
himself early on as a primarily decorative painter, he did exhibit at the
Paris Salon, winning a Medal of Honor there in 1864. This success led to
his popularity as a portrait painter, including commissions from many
socially prominent personages. This was most likely the case with a
painting like Antoinette Reading in the collection of the R.W.
Norton Art Gallery. As women began to become more educated and active,
their portraits began to reflect their interests and attainments and to
move away from static Neo-classical poses. Faivre chooses to show his
subject reading, an act in which females were not depicted in earlier
centuries; in addition, her casual dress and calm, almost insolent gaze at
the painter indicates the new feminine attitude, and demonstrates the
influence on Faivre of "scandalous" paintings like Manet's "Olympia", in
which a woman becomes as much the observer as the observed. Though
Faivre's overall style and technique are those of an academic painter, the
japonaiserie artifacts and heightened use of light and color in this
portrait denote his awareness of the work of the Impressionists, who were
coming to prominence at the height of his own career.

In addition to portraits, Faivre also painted genre works and continued to
produce decorative compositions. Four of his paintings are on display in
the Rooms Touzet of the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco. Faivre's works
are also found throughout museums and private collections in Europe. He
died of unknown causes in 1905.

Everl Adair, Director of Research and Rare Collections