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On Display

Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931)

The Fisherman

Forain first made his name with satirical illustrations for various French newspapers and magazines and at the beginning of his career was known for prints, drawings, watercolours and pastels. He drew much of his subject matter from Parisian night life, sharing an interest in the ballet with his friend and mentor Degas. During the 1880s he began to work more regularly in oils. He exhibited in the Impressionist exhibitions of 1879, 1880, 1881 and 1886.

The Fisherman seems to have been inspired by a print from One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji by the Japanese artist Hokusai. After Japan opened up its borders to western countries a craze for Japanese art developed, known in France as Japonisme. The flat, bright colour and stylised treatment of everyday subjects in Japanese woodblock prints influenced several European art movements including Impressionism. Forain combines Hokusai's composition with Impressionist handling of light and colour and his own interest in humour and the quirks of contemporary life.

Mediumoil on canvas
Dimensions947mm x 1001mm
Acquisition NumberSOTAG : 204
Credit LinePurchased in 1936 through the Chipperfield Bequest Fund