Antoine Berjon

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Antoine Berjon
1754-1843
Study of Leaves ("Papaver Somniferum")
Black chalk on paper.
12 x 10 inches (305 x 254 mm)
Gift of John M. Thayer.
2003.33
Inscription: 

Signed in pen and black ink at lower right, "Berjon".

Provenance: 
Eric Carlson and W. M. Brady, New York; John M. Thayer.
Notes: 

The flower paintings and drawings of Antoine Berjon are defined by their precise, uncluttered, and scientifically accurate depictions. Originally a fabric designer in Lyon's thriving pre-Revolutionary silk industry, Berjon went on to become the founder and leading advocate of the Lyon school of flower painters, having studied specimens in the botanical gardens of Lyon. After exhibiting several works at the Paris Salon in 1791, Berjon moved to Paris in 1793, where he painted still lifes and portraits. With increased renown as a flower painter, he returned in 1810 to Lyon, where he was appointed a professor of floral design and painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.Berjon also worked as a miniaturist and a printmaker and continued to teach privately after leaving the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1823.
The leaves depicted in this drawing have been identified as from the opium poppy (Papaver Somniferum).

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