Léon Bonnat

The portraitist of the IIIrd Republic

Author: Guy Saigne

Guy Saigne, HEC (67), doctor in art history

Doctoral thesis on Léon Bonnat (1833-1922), catalog raisonné of painted, drawn and engraved portraits, defended at Paris-Sorbonne University in 2015 and obtained with very honorable mention and unanimous congratulations from the jury.

Book "Léon Bonnat, the portrait painter of the Third Republic" awarded the Jacques de Fouchier Prize, Grand Prix of the French Academy in 2018

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Guy Saigne is currently continuing the establishment of Léon Bonnat's catalog raisonné by focusing on his religious painting, his large decorative compositions, his genre scenes and Orientalist or Italian landscapes, his training work (copies, drawings, etc.), etc.

He would like to thank in advance any person or institution who can provide him with information relating to Léon Bonnat and his work in the context of this new research.


The author

Guy SAIGNE defended his doctoral thesis in art history from the University of Paris-Sorbonne on December 12, 2015: “Léon Bonnat (1833-1922) portrait painter. Catalog raisonné of painted, drawn and engraved portraits ”. The jury was made up of Ms. Chang Ming Peng, Professor of Art History at the University of Lille III, President of the Jury, Ms. Christine Peltre, Professor of Art History at the University of Strasbourg, Ms. Sophie Harent, Chief Heritage Curator and Director of the Bonnat-Helleu Museum in Bayonne, Mr. Philippe Boutry, Professor of History, President of the University Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris I), and Mr. Barthélémy Jobert, Professor of History of art, President of the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) and thesis director. The thesis obtained the very honorable mention and earned its author the congratulations of the jury unanimously, the highest award that the university can award.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

This ten-year long work has been successfully completed thanks to the help of all those who, in France or abroad, spontaneously or in response to questions put to them, provided information on Léon Bonnat and on his work, opened up new avenues of research, gave access to certain contacts, transmitted information or documents, revealed the existence of paintings hitherto ignored. They have all contributed a piece of the immense puzzle of establishing a catalog raisonné. May they be warmly thanked.

“Léon Bonnat (1833-1922) portrait painter.

Catalog raisonné of painted, drawn and engraved portraits »

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