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Eugène Louis Lami

French, 1800 - 1890

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January 12, 1800 - December 19, 1890. Lami studied under Horace Vernet and Gros. In his atelier he made the acquaintance of Richard Parkes Bonington who introduced him to the technique of watercolor painting and with whom he undertook a journey to England in 1826, documented in a series of lithographs. Lami's career as a painter began in 1824 when he exhibitied a large battle scene at the Salon. Soon to follow were further official paintings commissioned by Louis-Philippe, for whom Lami worked as a court painter after 1830. His life spanned ten changes of government and Lami became chiefly an illustrator of fashion, elegance and luxury of Parisian bonne société. His watercolors and paintings captured the décolletés and beautiful dresses, glittering uniforms, the Salons, the soirées and the Boulevards, but most of all the grace and charm of contemporary society. Besides the large canvasses representing the actual historical events, the artist also showed great interest in depicting the glamour of earlier times for which he often chose the medium of watercolor painting in a small scale. (excerpted from Sotheby's 11 June 1997, lot 7)

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