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Bérnard Jean

St Petersburg 1849 – 1935 Paris

French Painter

A Game of Billiards

Signature: Attributed to Bérnard Jean
Medium: Oil on panel
Dimensions: Image size 33 x 23 cm, frame size 42 x 32 cm

Value: 10.000€ - 20.000€

Béraud Jean, born in St. Petersburg on January 12, 1849, alongside his twin sister to French parents, embarked on a journey that would make him one of the most celebrated painters of Parisian life during the Belle Époque.

The son of a sculptor who contributed to the construction of the Saint Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Béraud’s family returned to Paris in 1853 after his father’s passing. Little did the young artist-to-be know that he would soon capture the vibrant essence of Paris on canvas.

Béraud’s artistic talents knew no bounds. He excelled in painting genre scenes, figures, interiors, street and town views, and portraits. A master of pastels, watercolors, and sketching, he drew inspiration primarily from the tapestry of modern life that unfolded around him.

Initially, Béraud set out on a different path, studying at the Lycée Bonaparte with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. However, the tide of history turned during the Franco-Prussian War, leading him to change course. He enrolled at the Paris École des Beaux-Arts, where he found guidance under the esteemed master teacher and artist Léon Bonnat. In 1872, he unveiled his work at the Paris Salon, marking the beginning of a remarkable artistic journey.

One of Béraud’s defining moments came with his painting “Le Retour de l’enterrement,” which catapulted him to success. He went on to become one of the foremost painters of Parisian life during the Belle Époque, capturing the essence of the city’s middle classes, daily life, small trades, and the ambiance of cafés.

Béraud played a pivotal role in the art world, co-founding the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and exhibiting his works from 1910 to 1929. His artistic prowess earned him recognition, including the bronze medal at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1882, the silver medal in 1883, and the gold medal in 1889.

The legacy of Jean Béraud lives on through his timeless artworks, which can be found in private and public collections worldwide, including prestigious institutions like the Museum Liège, Lille, Tours, and Troyes. On October 4, 1935, Béraud bid farewell to the city he loved, passing away in Paris, leaving behind a rich tapestry of Parisian life immortalized on canvas.

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