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Émile Munier BiographyFrench Academic Classical painter & genre painter
born 1840 - died after 1895
Émile Munier was born in Paris on June 2, 1840 and lived with his family at 66 rue des Fossés, St Marcel. His father, Pierre François Munier, was an artist upholsterer at the Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins and his mother, Marie Louise Carpentier, was a polisher in a cashmere cloth mill.
All three Munier children entered the Gobelins, however François was the only one
who stayed and he, like his father,
eventually rose to the postion of
head-foreman. Émile Munier attended classes
in drawing, painting, anatomy, perspective
and chemistry, in relation to wool dyeing in
order to become an artist upholsterer. The
artist, Abel Lucas, supervised the drawing
courses; Mr. Chabale taught the flowers and
ornaments classes; chemistry was taught by
Mr. Chevreuil and Mr. Decaux was the
engineer of Art et Manufactures.
In 1867, Henriette gave birth to a son,
Émile Henri. Six weeks after the birth,
having contracted severe rheumatism,
Henriette died prematurely. In 1871, he
abandoned his career as an upholsterer and
devoted his time solely to painting; Munier
also began teaching classes to adults three
nights a week.
Beginning in 1876, the Muniers spent their summer vacations on the Normandy sea-cost. There, Émile produced numerous drawings as well as some watercolor paintings depicting scenes of boats and fishermen. Before joining his family for their summer vacation in 1879, Émile Munier traveled to the Ardennes to paint a commissioned portrait painting of Madame de Chanzy.
In 1886, he went back to the subject of
cherubs, which he had already worked with
three years earlier in Les deux cupidons
(1883). Munier painting L’amour désarmé
(Love Disarmed) presented to the Salon in
1886 again displays Bouguereau’s influence
on Munier and a number of American
collectors had actually attributed this
Among his many American patrons were, Mr. & Mrs. Chapman H. Hyams. They were important collectors of contemporary French paintings during the 19th century and favored artists like Henner, Bouguereau, Gerôme, Vinel and Schreye. Munier painted their portrait in 1889, and it, along with much of their collection, is now in the New Orleans Museum of Art.
At the Salon of 1890, Émile Munier exhibited Rêve d’enfant: a little girl in her bed, surrounded by two allegoric angels. The artist in several paintings has recapture the girl’s face, with her eyes full of emotion. Throughout the year of 1892, Émile Munier painted mythological and religious paintings: several cupids, a goddess with an arm raised, a virgin Mary praying as well as the famous Mother and child . Munier continued teaching painting in Paris and attending l’Atelier de peinture de l’Ecole Polytechnique from 1892 to 1893.
During the year 1894, he produced a number of paintings in his well-affirmed style, including one of two cupids entitled Un sauvetage. Munier also painted a very unusual work Premier prix, in which a dog stands among flowers at a dog show and during his stay at Mont Dore, a number of Munier watercolor paintings that explored the surrounding landscapes and gardens in Auvergne.
Émile Munier died on Saturday June 29, 1895 at 9 am and was buried at the Montparnasse cemetery.
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