Adrien Moreau (18 April 1843 – 22 February 1906) was a French genre and historical painter, sculptor and illustrator.
Moreau was born in Troyes in Aube départment. He began his artistic training as an apprentice glassmaker, but left for Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts under Léon Cogniet and Isidore Pils. He first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1868, being described by fellow artist and critic, Joseph Uzanne, as "among the ranks of the greatest painters of contemporary genre". After a break occasioned by the Franco-Prussian war, it was his 1873 work, "Concert d’Amateurs dans un Atelier d’Artiste" which really established him in the public eye, and his art became in great demand, particularly in America.
He continued to exhibit at the salon until the end of his life, being awarded a silver medal in 1876 for "Repose at the farm". He also won silver medals at the 1889 and 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. Moreau became a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1892.
Moreau painted in oil (including Grisaille) and watercolour, and during his life became well known for his historical depictions of the French upper classes in past centuries, though he was equally at home in genre landscape paintings featuring peasants and their everyday life. He provided watercolor illustrations and drawings for books by authors such as Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Alphonse Daudet and Honoré de Balzac. He also wrote a book on the history of his family called "Les Moreaus" (1893).
He died in Paris in 1906. His work is represented in museums in Carcassonne, Nantes and Troyes. In 1996, his work "Gypsy dancer" sold for over 260,000 Euros at auction, while, in America, in April 2010, "Concert d'amateurs dans un atelier d'artiste" realised over $70,000.
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- His debut work at the salon was "Puis ce Prophète s’en alla et un lion le rencontra et le tua" ("Then the prophet went out and a Lion met him and killed him", 1868)
- Joseph Uzanne. "Figures Contemporains Tirée de l’Album Mariani, vol. 8" (Paris: Libraire Henri Floury, 1903).
- Amateur Concert in an Artist’s studio.
- Moreau illustrated several works by Balzac such as Béatrix, The Magic Skin, The Woman of Thirty, Mémoires de deux jeunes mariées etc.
- Art Daily (May 4, 2010).