Émile Munier (1840-1895) ~ A Tender Embrace, 1887 ✿

Émile Munier (1840-1895) - A Tender Embrace, 1887 oil on canvas Private collection
Emile Munier (1840-1895) was a French academic artist and student of William-Adolphe Bouguereau. He was born in Paris in 1810 and made a career for himself as a genre and portrait painter, specialising particularly in the portrayal of children, especially in outdoor settings.
He worked with Lucas and Bouguereau and, from 1869 to 1895, Munier exhibited his paintings at the Salon. He also worked with Emile Gallé, who was both a colleague and a friend.
 During the 1860s, Munier received three medals at the Beaux-Arts and in 1869 he exhibited at the Paris Salon. He became a great supporter of the Academic ideals and a follower of Bouguereau, whose subject matter would be an important inspiration to the young Munier.
In 1885 he painted, and exhibited at the Paris Salon, Trois Amis (Three Friends). This painting, representing a chubby girl playing on her bed with a kitten and a dog, was an extremely successful work, being reproduced in many forms and used for publicity posters by Pears Soap. With this work, Emile asserted himself as one of 'the' painters of young children and their pets; it was eventually acquired by an American collector. Among his many American patrons were Chapman H. Hyams and his wife, who were important collectors of contemporary French paintings during the nineteenth century and favored artists like Henner, Bouguereau, Gérôme, Vinel and Schreyer. Munier painted their portrait in 1889, and it, along with much of their collection, is now in the New Orleans Museum of Art.
During the 1890s Munier continued to paint peasant, mythological and religious subjects. In 1893 he exhibited L'esprit de la chute d'eau, at the Paris Salon, a nude nymph which is not unlike Naissance de Vénus by Bouguereau.
In 1895 Munier painted La jeune fille et le panier de chatons, but on 29 June, a few weeks after his 55th birthday, he died.

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