CORMON, Fernand
(b. 1845, Paris, d. 1924, Paris)


French painter. He studied initially in Brussels under Jean-François Portaels (1818-1895). In 1863 he returned to Paris, where for three years he was a pupil of Alexandre Cabanel and Eugène Fromentin. He made his début at the Salon in 1868 and in 1870 received a medal for the Marriage of the Niebelungen (1870; private collection). His painting the Death of King Ravana (1875; Musée des Augustins, Toulouse), taken from the Indian epic poem the Ramayana, was criticized for the choice of an obscure subject but was nevertheless awarded the Prix de Salon in 1875. Soon afterwards Cormon left France for Tunisia.

After his return in 1877 he exhibited regularly at the Salon until his death, establishing a reputation as a painter of historical and religious subjects; he also produced some portraits. All of these were executed in an undistinguished academic style. His later works include Return from a Bear Hunt in the Stone Age (1884; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Carcassonne).

Being well-accepted at the annual Salon, he also ran an art school in the 1880s where he tried to guide his students to create paintings which would be accepted by the Salon's jury. Among his students with whom he was unsuccessful on this point were Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Louis Anquetin, Eugene Boch, Paul Tampier, Émile Bernard and Vincent van Gogh.