Portrait of Marquesa de Manzanedo: 1872
The Reader in White
Soldier with a pipe
The Card Players: 1872
The End of the Game of Cards: 1856
A Game of Piquet
Playing Jeu De Boules
Playing Bowls in the Fosse at Antibes
Portrait of a gentleman, possibly the artist's uncle.
The Guide: 1883
The Sergeants Portrait: 1874
At the Relay Station
L'auberge du Pont de Poissy
The Halt: 1870
Leland Stanford: 1881
A General and his Aide-de-camp: 1859
The Philosopher: 1878
Dragoons at the ready: the officer on horse
A Musketeer - The Time of Louis XIII
A Cavalier Time of Louis XIII
The French Campaign (1861)
Napoleon and his Staff
Relief After the Battle
Colonel Felix Massue: 1867
Diderot and his Scribe: 1869
The Emperor at Solferino
Information - General Desaix and the Peasant: 1867
Portrait of Alexandre Dumas - Jr (fils) 1877
The Cuirassiers before their Charge at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805: 1878
Self Portrait along the Route De La Salice, Antibes: 1868
The Barricade, rue de la Mortellerie, June 1848
The Roadside Inn: 1865
The Sign Painter
A Sentinel Time of Louis XIII: 1851
An Artist Showing his Work: 1850
Soldier Playing the Theorbo: 1865
Sunday in Poissy: 1850
The Hired Assassins: 1852
Marshal Ney on Horseback Fighting the Wind
Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier (21 February 1815 – 31 January 1891) was a French Classicist painter and sculptor famous for his depictions of Napoleon, his armies and military themes. He documented sieges and manoeuvres and was the teacher of Edouard Detaille.
Ernest Meissonier was born at Lyon. His father, Charles, had been a successful businessman, the proprietor of a factory in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, that made dyes for the textile industry. He expected Ernest, the eldest of his two sons, to follow him into the dye business. Yet from his schooldays Ernest showed a taste for painting, to which some early sketches, dated 1823, bear witness. After being placed with a druggist in the Rue des Lombards, at age seventeen, he obtained leave from his parents to become an artist. Following the recommendation of a painter named Potier, himself a second class Prix de Rome, he was admitted to Leon Cogniet's studio. He also formed his style after the Dutch masters as represented in the Louvre.
He paid short visits to Rome and to Switzerland, and exhibited in the Salon of 1831 a painting then called Les Bourgeois Flamands (Dutch Burghers), but also known as The Visit to the Burgomaster, subsequently purchased by Sir Richard Wallace, in whose collection (at Hertford House, London) it is, with fifteen other examples of this painter. It was the first attempt in France in the particular genre which was destined to make Meissonier famous: microscopic painting miniature in oils. Working hard for daily bread at illustrations for the publishers Curmer, Hetzel and Dubocherhe, Meissonier also exhibited at the Salon of 1836 with Chess Player and the Errand Boy.
In 1838 Meissonier married a Protestant woman from Strasbourg named Emma Steinhel, the sister of M. Steinheil, one of his artistic companions. Two children were born in due course; Thérèse (1840), and Charles. On the birth registration of his daughter he described himself as a "painter of history".
After some not very happy attempts at religious painting, he returned, under the influence of Chenavard to the class of work he was born to excel in, and exhibited with much success the Game of Chess (1841), the Young Man playing the 'Cello (1842), Painter in his Studio (1843), The Guard Room, the Young Man looking at Drawings, the Game of Piquet (1845), and the Game of Bowls, works which show the finish and certainty of his technique, and assured his success.
Meissonier became known as the French Metsu, a reference to the seventeenth-century Dutch painter Gabriel Metsu, who specialised in miniature scenes of bourgeois domestic life; "grandiose history paintings did not sell as readily as smaller canvases such as landscapes or portraits, which fitted more easily onto the walls of Paris apartments". He specialised in scenes from seventeenth- and eighteenth-century life, portraying his bonshommes, or goodfellows - playing chess, smoking pipes, reading books, sitting before easels or double basses, or posing in the uniforms of musketeers or halberdiers all executed in microscopic detail. Typical examples include Halt at an Inn, owned by the Duc de Morny and The Brawl, which was owned by Queen Victoria.
In June 1868 Meissonier travelled to Antibes with canvas and easel,together with his wife, son and daughter, and two of his horses, Bachelier and Lady Coningham. He may have been attracted there for historical reasons - in 1794 Napoleon had been imprisoned in Fort Carre, and in 1815, returning from exile on Elba in 1815 he had come ashore at Golfe-Jouan, and the island of Sainte-Marguerite where the Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned 1686-1698, was a little out to sea.
On 24 May 1884 an exhibition was opened at the Petit Gallery of Meissonier's collected works, including 146 examples. As president of the jury on painting at the Exhibition of 1889 he contributed some new pictures. In the following year the New Salon was formed (the Societe Nationale des Beaux - Arts), and Meissonier became its president. He exhibited there in 1890 his painting 1807; and in 1891, shortly after his death, his Barricade was displayed there.
A less well-known class of work than his painting is a series of etchings : The Last Supper, The Skill of Vuillaume the Lute Player, The Little Smoker, The Old Smoker, the Preparations for a Duel, Anglers, Troopers, The Reporting Sergeant, and Polichinelle, in the Hertford House collection. He also tried lithography, but the prints are now scarcely to be found. Of all the painters of the century, Meissonier was one of the most fortunate in the matter of payments. His Cuirassiers, now in the late duc d' Aumale's collection at Chantilly, was bought from the artist for £10,000, sold at Brussels for £11,000, and finally resold for £16,000.
Besides his genre portraits, he painted some others: those of Doctor Lefevre, of Chenavard, of Vanderbilt, of Doctor Guyon, and of Stanford. He also collaborated with the painter Francais in a picture of The Park at St Cloud.
He nevertheless cherished certain ambitions which remained unfulfilled. He hoped to become a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, but the appointment he desired was never given to him. He also aspired to be chosen deputy or made senator, but he was not elected. In 1861 he succeeded Abel de Pujol as member of the Academy of Fine Arts. On the occasion of the centenary festival in honour of Michelangelo in 1875 he was the delegate of the Institute of France to Florence, and spoke as its representative. Meissonier was an admirable draughtsman upon wood, his illustrations to Les Conies Rémois (engraved by Lavoignat), to Lamartine's Fall of an Angel to Paul and Virginia, and to The French Painted by Themselves being among the best known. The leading engravers and etchers of France have been engaged upon plates from the works of Meissonier, and many of these plates command the highest esteem of collectors. Meissonier died in Paris on 31 January 1891.
His son, Jean Charles Meissonier, also a painter, was his father's pupil, and was admitted to the Légion d'honneur in 1889.
Rue Meissonier, in the 17th Arrondissement in Paris, France, is named after him.
source for biography: http://wikipedia.org
painter Meissonier Jean-Louis-Ernest