Fernand CORMON (Paris, 1845 - Paris, 1924)
A pupil of Jan-Frans Portaels in Brussels, and later Alexandre Cabanel and Eugène Fromentin in Paris, Fernand Anne-Piestre Cormon made his Salon debut in 1868, exhibiting a painting of the Death of Mohammed. He gained his first fame with his painting of the Death of Ravana, King of Lanka at the Salon of 1875, and continued to exhibit there regularly, with much success. In 1880 his painting of Cain Fleeing with his Family was awarded the medal of honour at the Salon, and was purchased by the State for the Musée du Luxembourg. He received several important public commissions, notably a series of ten large mural paintings of scenes from the Paleolithic era to the Iron Age for the amphitheatre of the Museum nationale d’histoire naturelle in the 1890’s, and the decoration of the Petit Palais in 1911. Cormon was also an accomplished painter of portraits and flowerpieces. A Professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he was a popular teacher, and in the 1880’s established an art school. Among his students at the Atelier Cormon were Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Emile Bernard, Louis Anquetin, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse and François Picabia.