Félix Ziem was born on February 26, 1821 in Beaune, Côte-d’Or (France). He was a history painter, painted general subjects, particular subjects, portraits, animated landscapes, architecture, landscapes, seascapes, water landscapes, still life, a watercolorist, and drawer. He is a pre-impressionist and orientalist.
His father was Croatian and his mother was Burgundian. They all moved to Côte-d’Or in 1814. He studied at l’École d’Architecture et des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. He won second place in drawing and architecture in 1839. In 1841, after a long journey by foot, he moves to Nice where he will start to get commissions from the city’s bourgeoisie. In 1842, he travels to Italy where he visits Rome and then discovers Venice. Venice will become his second home. He will frequently visit Venice and even goes several months each year from 1845 to 1892. He will work from his boat which will double as a studio and his house. After a trip to Greece, Constantinople, and Russia in 1844, he will continue his travels to Belgium and Holland in 1850, England in 1852, and Egypt in 1854. In 1855, he will coast down the Danube River in a boat. In 1856, he visits Turkey and the east side of the Mediterranean Sea. His travels continue: in 1858 he visits Alger, in 1860 he visits Holland, etc. He frequently visits Barbizon and moves into a caravan so that he can paint nature better. He will later buy a house that belonged to painter Charles Jacque. He becomes friends with all of the most famous landscape artists of that time. However, he will leave Barbizon and spend equal amount of time in all four houses he possesses in Venice, Martigues, Nice, and Paris (Rue Lepic). During his career, he will paint with great success a several thousand canvases which will inspire him to help give advice to young artists who have become discouraged. He also founded many charities and an asylum for the blind.
Gifted in an activity that is not common, he was able to depict through his artwork Parisian life and the everyday life of people in the many countries he visited. He also exhibited at the Salon regularly since 1849. Around 1865, Durand-Ruel becomes one of his main art dealers. Ziem received numerous medals: troisième classe in 1851, première classe in 1852 and 1855, chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in 1857, officier in 1878, and commandeur in 1908. At his death, he will give to the city of Paris a portion of his studio (studies and drawings). It is in one of his collections that is preserved at the Musée du Petit Palais that we are able to see more of the technique and talent displayed by Ziem. Gustave Moreau, who is a famous artist and has his own studio, has a similar painting style as Ziem.
Like Guardi and Canaletto, he paints a new view of Venice by not focusing on the famous landmarks, but on the systematic studies of light during each hour and season.
He died on November 10, 1911 in Paris.
Paris, Petit Palais
This painting was replicated in the “catalogue raisonné” of Félix Ziem par Anne Burdin–Hellebranth, Belgium, 1998, p. 241, n. 601.
E. Bénézit, édition Gründ, Tome XIV, pages 899-900.
Price : on request
Price : on request