Jean Béraud, 1848 – 1935, was a French painter renowned for his numerous paintings depicting the life of Paris, and the nightlife of Paris society.
Pictures of the Champs Elysees, cafés, Montmartre and the banks of the Seine are precisely detailed illustrations of everyday Parisian life during the “Belle Époque”.
[caption id="attachment_13556" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Béraud was born in Saint Petersburg. His father (also called Jean) was a sculptor and was likely working on the site of St. Isaac’s Cathedral at the time of his son’s birth.
He painted many scenes of Parisian daily life during the Belle Époque in a style that stands somewhere between the academic art of the Salon and that of the Impressionists.
Béraud’s paintings often included truth-based humour and mockery of late 19th-century Parisian life, along with frequent appearances of biblical characters in then contemporary situations.
After the Revolution, Russian artists received Béraud’s work with irony, seeing them as the embodiment of the Western commercial consumption, indulging in their opinion, in the rich middle-class tastes. Painting style gradually shifted from academic towards impressionism.
Béraud – like his friend Édouard Manet (1832-1883), and in some of their paintings, Edgar Degas (1834-1917), depicted the urban life.
Artistic techniques used by Béraud, in particular, when drawing the so-called À la salle Graffard, later became a classic.