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Francois de Montholon was born in Pantin, near Paris in 1856. He studied under E. Dardoize and from 1877 to 1881 he apprenticed in the workshops of G. Boulanger and J. Lefebvre. Montholon enjoyed a remarkable career of more than 60 years, despite suffering a serious handicap to his arms and legs. The diversity of his skill was considerable, and he practiced oil painting as well as drawing, watercolour, pastel and lithography. The influence of Claude Monet is ever-present in his work. He was an insatiable traveller, constantly seeking inspiration from the world around him and was commissioned to illustrate tourist guidebooks. Montholon won praise throughout his career from provincial art shows to the Salon, where he was awarded numerous medals for his work. In 1907 he became a member of the Salon d’Hiver and exhibited many works there. He was also one of the founders of the Salon d’École Français in Paris and in 1908 he received the Prix Morlot au Salon des Artistes Français. The Great War effectively forced Montholon to remain near Paris, and at this time he focused on painting scenes of military life. From 1919 he was able to return to his inspiration in Monet, recapturing mediterranean light and provençale subject matter, and producing works of exceptional quality, sumptuous light and richness and vigorous impasto. Montholon’s last exhibited at the Salon in 1936 at the age of 80. Towards the end of his life, he established a workshop in Paris where he attracted many students. In 1939 he moved from Paris to Angers where he lived until his death in 1940.


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