Russia • 1833−1922

Biography and information

Leon Bonnat (full name — Leon Joseph Florentin Bonn FR. Leon Joseph Florentin Bonnat, 1833-1922) was a French painter and collector. Bonn painted pictures on historical and religious subjects, but better known as a portraitist.

Born in Bayonne on June 20, 1833. But from 1846 to 1853 he lived in Madrid, where his father owned a bookstore. In Madrid he began to study painting Raimundo de Madrazo. Continued studies in Paris at the School of fine arts (École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts) Leon Konya.

In 1869 he received the Rome prize. As the winner, Bonn used the oja opportunity to study in Rome. Upon returning to Paris he taught at the School of fine arts, and in 1905 became its Director.

Bonn was one of the most famous portrait painters of his time. He wrote many well-known people, among his most famous works portraits of Victor Hugo, Alexander Dumas. Andre Maurois, in his "Literary portraits," mentions friendship Bonn and Maupassant[1].

The famous French writer Henri Perucho wrote:

"To order a portrait of Bonn, there was little one desires. Not everyone who came up with this fantasy, could achieve this. Portrait in Bonn — with a few, it is very expensive"[2].

Earning a decent painting, Bonn was an avid collector and has spent a lot on the purchase of works of art. After the death of Bonn September 8, 1922, under the will of the master, his hometown of Bayonne received a large collection of works of art, which included one of the best collections of the figure of the XIX century.