Constant Benjamin (1845-1902) "Portrait"
Oil on canvas. 30" x 24" framed 37.5" x 33" x 3 3/4" Artist Biography: (b Paris, 10 June 1845; d Paris, 26 May 1902). French painter and printmaker. He spent his youth in Toulouse, where he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. A municipal scholarship enabled him to enter the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1866. By the following year he was a student in the Ecole de la Rue Bonaparte under the history painter Alexandre Cabanel, and he competed unsuccessfully for the Prix de Rome in 1868 and 1869. His first Salon exhibit, Hamlet and the King (1869; Paris, Mus. d'Orsay), established his reputation as a colourist. Constant submitted a number of other traditional history paintings, such as Samson and Delilah (1872; untraced). During the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), however, he travelled to Spain, visiting Madrid, Toledo, Córdoba and Granada, where he came under the influence of the Orientalist painter Mariano Fortuny y Marsal.