(1852–1929). The popular French naturalist painter Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret is best known for his painstakingly detailed paintings of peasant scenes. Dagnan-Bouveret also created portraits and religious paintings.
Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan was born in Paris on Jan. 7, 1852. His father moved to Brazil when he was 16, but he decided to stay in France with his mother’s father. Later Dagnan-Bouveret added his grandfather’s family name—Bouveret—to his own. Dagnan-Bouveret entered art school in Paris at age 17 and studied under the well-known academic painter Gérome. During this period Dagnan-Bouveret entered his paintings in several official competitions and placed highly in several. In 1878 Dagnan-Bouveret moved to the region known as the Franche-Comté, where he produced many landscapes and still life paintings. Dagnan-Bouveret won recognition in 1880 with his oil painting An Accident, which depicts a peasant boy with an injured hand visiting the doctor. Considered one of his finest paintings, it exemplifies Dagnan-Bouveret's attempt to examine the psychology of his subjects through the use of well-rendered detail.
Dagnan-Bouveret took advantage of new photographic technology to bring greater detail and heightened realism to his paintings. Dagnan-Bouveret used this technique especially in his paintings of peasants, such as Horses at the Watering Trough (1885). Dagnan-Bouveret was known to select people from his village, dress them in historical costumes, and then take photographs, which he then used with sketches as the basis of his paintings. By the 1890s his popularity as a portrait painter among wealthy patrons allowed him to explore more personal themes. Many of Dagnan-Bouveret's later paintings, such as Supper at Emmaus (1896–97), were religious in nature. Dagnan-Bouveret died in Quincey, Haute-Saône, France, on July 3, 1929.