Jacques-Barthélemy dit Adolphe Appian, painter, fusinist, aquafortist, son of Pierre-Barthélémy Appian, plasterer, and Anne Moreaud, was born in Lyon, rue du Plat, n°1, on August 23, 1818.
He was a student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, under Grobon and Thierrat (1833-1836), he first drew for the Lyon silk factory, then, advised by Daubigny and Corot, whom he met in Optevoz, he gave up flowers and devoted himself entirely to landscapes. He exhibited paintings, watercolors, washes, charcoals and etchings in Lyon since 1847, and at the 1853 Paris Salon, depicting sites in the Lyonnais, Ain, Savoie and Dauphiné regions, as well as views of the Mediterranean coast.
Appian was a virtuoso brush artist, and his etchings and charcoal drawings rank him among the foremost landscape painters of the French School.
He died in Lyon at his villa des Fusains, rue des Trois-Artichauts, n°15, on April 29, 1898. The Musée du Luxembourg and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon own several works by this artist, who in 1891 painted a panel at the Rhône Prefecture, in the staircase of the prefect's apartments: Le Soir, Bords de la Rivière d'Ain.
In this work, you can see a clearing floor with rocks and a tree trunk. Adolphe Appian wanted to represent the interdependence of plant and mineral. Indeed, the rock's "partner" is the tree. Without a tree, a rock has no shelter; without a rock, a tree has no support. This is why these two solitary yet complementary entities are most often depicted together, forming the basis of a landscape.
Painters such as Théodore Rousseau and Narcisse Diaz de la Pena are also interested in the symbiosis of mineral and plant.
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