Émile Renard

French, (1850-1930)
Cordonnier à Jouy, Eure-et-Loir (Cobbler of Jouy)
Oil on canvas, signed & dated 1883

A realist painting of a cobbler in his workshop by Émile Renard. The composition features an elderly shoemaker seated on a rickety chair next to a bench. The light from a window illuminates his work.

Émile Henry Renard was born in Sèvres on 5 October, 1850 to Hubert Constantin Renard (1828-1919) and Francoise Genevieve Henriette Brault. His father worked at the Sèvres porcelain factory as a porcelain artist and turner where he later became head of production and his mother also worked there as a porcelain artist. He most likely received artistic tuition from both his mother and father who would have also taught his brother Henri Constantin.

Encouraged by his parents, he began his working life at the porcelain factory with his brother, however after a few years decided to pursue a career in oil painting. He moved to Paris where he enrolled at the Ecole de Beaux Arts and was tutored by Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889) and César de Cock (1823-1904). His main body of work was genre subjects and portraits; however, he also produced a number of landscapes.

He began exhibiting at the Paris Salon in 1873 contributing works there regularly over the years. He also exhibited abroad in Luxemburg. During his lifetime he won a number of awards including a third-class medal at the Paris Salon of 1876, a second class medal in 1889 and a medal of honour in 1911. He also won a silver medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1889 and Le Prix Bonnat in 1924.

After the death of his first wife Jeanne Benunc, Renard married Felicie Magdeleine Eugenie Marguerite Pihet on 15 November, 1894. In 1895 he was awarded a knight of the Legion d’Honneur and later became an Officer of the Legion d’Honneur in 1929 for services to art. He was vice president of the Societe des Artists Francais for a time and later became a professor at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He was also Director of the teaching of drawing and painting for the Legion D’Honneur and was described by his colleagues as a remarkable teacher.

Renard died on 4 August, 1930 at Barbizon. An example of his work can be found at the Musee D’Orsay.

© Benton Fine Art

Presentation The work is housed in its original gilt frame which is in excellent condition. The reverse bears a label for E. Raynal and son, frame makers, gilders and restorers based at 14 rue de Seine, Paris. They operated during the latter part of the 19th and early 20th century. By 1905, the business had been succeeded by Raynal’s son-in-law Henri Sabatier.
Condition As with all of our original antique oil paintings, this work is offered in ready to hang gallery condition, having been professionally cleaned, restored and revarnished.
Image Size 12.75 inches x 17.5 inches (32.5cm x 44.5cm)
Framed Size 23.5 inches x 28.25 inches (60cm x 72cm)