Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Meissonier, Jean-Louis-Ernest


Born Feb. 21,1815, in Lyon; died Jan. 31, 1891, in Paris. French painter.

Meissonier studied in Paris with L. Cogniet. He became famous for his small historical genre paintings, most of which were inspired by 17th- and 18th-century France, as well as for his battle scenes (The Emperor at Solferino, 1863, the Louvre, Paris; and Friedland, 1807, 1875, the Metropolitan Museum, New York). Although conceptually they lack depth and reproduce primarily external appearances, Meissonier’s paintings are attractive for their intriguing subjects, painstaking re-creation of historical tableaux, and attention to detail. One of his few works on a contemporary theme, Barricade (1848, the Louvre), is devoted to the events of June 1848. Under the Second Empire (1852–70), Meissonier was Napoleon Ill’s favorite artist and the chief court authority on art.


Bulgakov, F. Meison’e i egoproizvedeniia. St. Petersburg, 1907 [1908 on the cover].
Bénédite, L. Meissonier. Paris [1911].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He was neither acquainted with artists such as Monet nor seemingly aware of the birth pangs of Impressionism; instead he admired artists such as Mariano Fortuny and Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier. Yet something of the spirit of modern French art seems to have impinged on his consciousness, and Stasov, always an ebullient advocate of an art that was distinctly Russian, became alarmed at the possibility of such influences.
Many of Pyle's iconic Revolutionary War scenes seem to have been strengthened by knowledge of the work of the French Salon artist, Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier, whose military scenes of the Napoleonic Wars were immensely popular.