The Sleeper, Emmanuel Michel Benner

presented to the public by ambitious compositions of the style usual to students of the art schools, but presently began to make a reputation as a portrait painter. In the intervals of his engagements in this department of art, he produced pictures of the manner of subject of "Cherries and Roses," and as these found increasing favor, and secured him commissions for the decorations of the mansions of wealthy Parisians, he gradually increased his productiveness in this direction, and through it he is best known to the world at large. The old Greek legend of the Sirens has attracted many artists, and resulted in the creation of many admirable pictures, from races not dreamed of when Ulysses sailed upon his voyage in quest of the golden fleece. In the composition of Adolphe La Lyre, who is an esteemed artist of the modern school in Paris, to which city he belongs, the tradition finds a quite original and individual interpretation. La Lyre, a painter educated in the Bouguereau class at the Paris Art Academy, somewhat follows his master in correct drawing and pure color, but has quite an indivudal style.

Like his twin brother, the distinguished artist Jean Benner, Emmanuel Benner commenced his life as a designer for the mills and factories of Mulhouse in Alsace, where he was born in 1836. At the age of thirty, having amassed some means by strict economy, he devoted himself entirely to art, his masters in paitning being Eck, Henner, a fellow Alsatian; and Leon Bonnat. He at first painted pictures of still life, portraits, and genre subjects, and commenced exhibiting at the Salon in 1868. In 1875 he struck out in a new direction, and his masterly paintings of the nude won him immediate favor. The character of his art has been sufficiently adverted to in Part I. of this work. Benner won his first Salon medal in 1881, with a picture very similar in character to "The Sleeper," which was entitled "Le Repos."

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Chapter 2 Text

Emmanuel Michel Benner

Master Paintings



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