Théodule-Augustin(French, 1823 -1891)

Realist painter and printmaker Ribot was largely self-taught. He studied for a time at École des Arts et Métiers de Châlons and apprenticed with artist Auguste-Barthélémy Glaize after he moved to Paris in 1845, but he never studied under another master. Having always supported himself and his family through trade-work—such as gilding mirrors, coloring lithographs for novels, and painting trade signs—Ribot is said to have considered himself more artisan than artist.

Ribot’s paintings, done at night by lamplight, cast his wife and son in domestic genre scenes, as well as religious subjects, giving an intensely personal feel to much of his work. Although rooted in realism, his subject matter and style—which drew heavily from the emotive work of Baroque painters like Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Diego Velázquez —were much more in line with the expectations of the French Academy than those of the Impressionists whose work was purposefully not as grand. Because of this, Ribot was awarded medals in several Salons. In 1878, he was named an officer of the Légion d’honneur, the highest honor in France. After he passed away in 1891, a retrospective of his work was staged at the École des Beaux-Arts.