Tony Robert-Fleury

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Tony Robert-Fleury
Tony Robert-Fleury photo.jpg
Photograph by Franz Benque
Born September 1, 1837 (1837-09)
Died December 8, 1911 (1911-12-09) (aged 74)
Nationality French
Known for Painting

Tony Robert-Fleury (1 September, 1837 – 8 December, 1911)[1] was a French painter, known primarily for historical scenes. He was also a prominent art teacher, with many famous artists among his students.


He was born just outside Paris, and studied under his father Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury and under Paul Delaroche and Léon Cogniet at the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) in Paris.

His first painting at the Salon de Paris, in 1866, was a large historical canvas, titled Varsovie, Scene de l'Insurrection Polonaise, recalling the events of April 8, 1861 in Warsaw, when Russian troops quenched riots by force. In the following year, his "Old Women in the Place Navone, Rome" was purchased by the Musée du Luxembourg.

Robert-Fleury in his studio,
from the Frick Collection

In 1870, he painted a canvas of Le Dernier Jour de Corinthe (Last Day of Corinth), which depicted the last day before the Roman legions looted and burned the ancient Greek city, according to Livy. This painting was also purchased by the Musée du Luxembourg, it is on display at the Musée d'Orsay. In 1880, he painted a ceiling for the Luxembourg Palace in Paris, representing "The Glorification of French Sculpture."

Robert-Fleury painted Pinel a la Salpêtrière (1876), which depicts the famed Father of Modern Psychiatry among the inmates of the asylum. Philippe Pinel in 1795, had been named chief doctor at the asylum, he had instituted more charitable and rational treatments, without chains.

In 1875, Robert-Fleury painted Charlotte Corday at Caen, which shows the woman coming to the passionate conclusion that Marat needed to be murdered. In 1882 he painted Vauban donnant le plan des fortifications de Belfort where the celebrated engineer is represented in Louis XIV costume reviewing maps and designs, while in the background laborers engage on building.[2]

Robert-Fleury taught as professor for many years at the Académie Julian in Paris.[3][4]

Robert-Fleury became president of the Société des artistes français in succession to Bouguereau. He was honoured with Commander of the Legion of Honour in 1907.[1] In 1908 he was elected president of the Taylor Foundation, a position he held until the end of his life. He acquired a great reputation and is renowned for his historical compositions, portraits and genre scenes; at his atelier he taught several well-known painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries from various countries, including Lovis Corinth, Édouard Vuillard and Sir George Clausen.



Some of Robert-Fleury's more prominent pupils were:[5]


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Robert-Fleury, Joseph Nicolas". Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 403.