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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

Alphonse Legros
French, 1837–1911 Discipline in the Monastery (La discipline au couvent) Etching, 1861
Frederick B. Shoemaker Fund, 1978.32At the age of 14, Alphonse Legros (1837–1911) left the art school at Dijin and travelled to Paris where he studied with a theatrical scene-painter while attending evening classes at the École des Beaux-Arts. In 1863, at the age of 26, he along with the artists Félix Bracquemond (who executed the nearby portrait of Legros), Jules Jacquemart, Édouard Manet, Charles Meryon, and others, founded the Society of Etchers (Société des Aquafortistes).
Legros settled in England in 1863 at the invitation of friend and associate James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Even though he was based in England, Legros is best known for his graphic works of macabre and somber French themes. Legros’s revolutionary and inventive approach made him one of the most influential etchers in Britain. As a teacher and etcher at the Slade School of Art, London, he is credited with revitalizing British drawing and etching.