Leon Bonnat

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Leon Bonnat

French Academic Classical painter, teacher, portraitist and collector

Born 6/20/1833 - Died 1922

Born in Bayonne (Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Aquitaine, France)

Died in Picardy (France)

  • Artworks
  • Biography
  • Relationships
  • Letters
  • Images of the Artist


BONNAT, LEON JOSEPH FLORENTIN (1833-1922), French painter, was born at Bayonne on the 20th of June 1833. He was educated in Spain, under Madrazo at Madrid, and his long series of portraits shows the influence of Velázquez and the Spanish realists. In 1869 he won a medal of honor at Paris, where he became one of the leading artists of his day, and in 1888 he became professor of painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In May 1905 he succeeded Paul Dubois as director. His vivid portrait-painting is his most characteristic work, but his subject pictures, such as the Martyrdom of St Denis in the Pantheon, are also famous.

Source: Entry on the artist in the 1911 Edition Encyclopedia.


director of

  • Ecole des Beaux-Arts from 1905

professor at

  • Ecole des Beaux-Arts from 1888

[Telegram to William Bouguereau]

To Monsieur Wm Bouguereau
May 1894 Wednesday

My Dear Friend,
I'm not going to
Anvers, at least for the
moment. I'll probably
go later in order to see the
new museum and exhibition.
You go there and represent us
          Léon Bonnat

I'm responding to Anvers that
I can't accept the invitation.