Paul Huet (1803-1869)
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Paul Huet was a French Impressionist landscape painter, educated at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He is remembered as one of the leading Romantic landscape painters of his time. He often looked to fellow French and British landscape painters for inspiration, and is even rumored to have painted the landscape in one of Delacroix’s paintings.
As a young boy, Huet lost his mother and was raised by his father. Even though he showed promise as an artist at a young age, he was not encouraged by his family to become an artist. Fortunately, a relative helped him to study at the workshop of Guerin, which also led him to study under David and others. Huet’s particular style of painting trees gained him a great deal of notoriety in art circles, and today remain a testimony of his talent as a painter of nature.
Early on in his career, Huet fostered a special friendship with Eugene Delacroix. Delacroix admired Huet’s work and the two would often work closely together. Upon his death, Delacroix even bequeathed his painting collection to Huet. How many of Delacroix’s paintings were actually a collaboration with Huet? How many of Huet’s paintings also had Delacroix’s hand in it? It may remain a mystery, or perhaps a painting will surface that was undoubtedly collaboration between the two.
Huet was also a frequent traveler, painting and exhibiting his work all over Europe. He married his niece in 1834, who died a few years later, but would remarry and have children. He was also a devoted Republican, which essentially hurt his career as an artist when the state was overturned in 1852, despite the fact that Napoleon III admired his work.
Huet would eventually move from Paris to the country and continued to paint nearly up until his death in 1869. Throughout his career, he painted a number of different landscapes, seascapes and pastoral scenes, and it would be unlikely to find a portrait or still life paintings by Huet.