Edmond François Aman-Jean was the leading French painter, pastellist and lithographer of his time, whose pivotal pièce de résistance are his interesting portrait paintings, primarily orbiting around females. Apart from his portraitures, he was acclaimed for his wall paintings in public and official edifices like the Sorbonne. Like other French artists of his time, he was inspired by the innovative perceptions on Japanese art flow in Paris. He was highly intrigued by the Pre-Raphaelite artists in England. Besides being a painter, he worked as a printmaker too and also designed posters. Aman-Jean was a good friend of JW, who supported the first exhibition of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers held in May 1898, at the Skating Rink in Knightsbridge, London. Go through the detailed biography to know more about Edmond Aman-Jean.
Edmond Aman-Jean’s Early Life And Education
Edmond Aman-Jean was born in 1860 at Chevry-Cossigny, which is a small village at the crossroads of the Seine and Marne rivers, about three miles away from Paris. In 1880, he started studying arts with Henri Lehmann at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. There he befriended Georges Seurat with whom he later shared a studio in Paris in 1879. Subsequently, he went to study arts under the guidance of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, working as his assistant on the Sacred Grove. In 1886, he was given a Scholarship to pursue his studies in Rome and after returning from there, he became friend with the pioneer poets such as Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Verlaine and Philippe-Auguste Villiers de l’Isle Adam.
At the time, when poets wanted to challenge the language in order to develop new awareness, Edmond was completely dependent on illustrative and pictographic traditions. He was an expert in making pictures of relaxed young women turned in profile to the left or looking into space. It was clearly visible in ‘Girl with Peacock’ (1895), in which he used broken brushstrokes and color contrasts. Works like the portrait of ‘Mlle Thadée C. Jacquet’ (1892) and the colored lithograph ‘Beneath the Flowers’ (1897 compelled Camille Mauclair, the critic to recognize Edmond Aman-Jean as a successor of the English Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in Britain. His later work was completely influenced by Pierre Bonnard. Edmond was a regular exhibitioner at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and also was a jury member of the same. In 1892 and 1893, he held exhibitions at the Salons de la Rose+Croix. Later, he became a significant teacher in his own right and his students were Theodor Pallady, Nicolae Tonitza and Charles Sydney Hopkinson. In 1893, he painted his wife keeping her hair down on the sides of her face that gave rise to a new fashion trend in Paris.
Aman-Jean loved to paint women in pastels, repeatedly in pinks, reds and violets with a method of deep undulant brush strokes. His very attractive works comprises of eight panels for the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (1910) and the four Elements for the chemistry amphitheater at the Sorbonne (1912).