Felix Auguste Clement


Felix Auguste Clement (1826-1888)
[F.A. Clement]
Pupil of:   Drolling and Picot

In the year 1836 a young student at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, where he had studied under Drolling and Picot, entered into the school competition for the Prix de Rome and won it. His name was Felix Auguste Clement, and he was born in 1826 at Donzere, in the Department of Drome. The course of his artistic life began at the Art School of the city of Lyons in 1843, and in 1848 he came to Paris. The four years he spent in Italy as a pensioner of the State proved fruitful in good work. At that time he made a special study of Roman antiquities and history, upon which he based his picture of "The Death of Caesar" and others. After his return to Paris, where he found a profitable market as a portrait painter and for his Italian genre pictures, he became interested in the history of ancient Egypt, and eventually visited that country, where he made a protracted stay and gathered much valuable material. His travels in Egypt were probably more extensive than those of any other modern artist. No ancient ruin was too remote for him to visit, and the mass of studies he made bore fruit on his coming back to France in a powerful picture of "The Destruction of Babylon." He varied his historical compositions by many pictures of Oriental every-day life, and other more familiar subjects, to which his "Morning," a young mother teasing her babe with a spray of ripe cherries, belongs. He took his first medal in 1861, and some ten years ago settled in Brussels, where he had been made a professor at the Academy.

A part of F.A. Clement's labor during his long sojourn in Egypt was in painting pictures for the uncle of the Khedive. He was only partially paid for these, and after his return to France instituted a long and costly suit against the old Egyptian voluptuary for the balance. Unfortunately for him the Khedive was deposed and pensioned off in exile, so the poor artist had only his trouble for his pains, for the ruin of Halim Pacha, the uncle, followed his nephew's deposition. One of the last pictures Halim Pacha ordered from him was a portrait of a new Circassian slave whom he had bought, but the artist refused to deliver it and took it to France with him, where he finished and sent it tot he Salon of 1880. It proved extremely successful, and won the artist much merited credit. "A Circassian Woman in the Harem" is now in one of the French provincial museums.

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Women Selling Water and Oranges
Portrait de femme orientale
Portrait of Frederic Mistral

Circassian Woman in the Harem
A Circassian Woman in the Harem

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