Around the Piano
|Dimensions||160 cm × 220 cm (63 in × 87 in)|
|Location||Musée d'Orsay, Paris|
Around the Piano (French: Autour du piano) is an 1885 painting by French artist Henri Fantin-Latour. It was exhibited at the Paris Salon the same year, then was bought by Adolphe Jullien. In 1915, it was given to the Musée du Luxembourg, then was at the Musée du Louvre until 1986. It is currently kept at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
Background and reception
The painting was the last of the four portraits of groups that Fantin-Latour devoted to his friends and celebrities in the arts world. He referred here to the concerts given by the group known as "Le Petit Bayreuth" initiated by Antoine Lascoux. Despite three previous paintings and numerous still lifes, the painter had not received the critical acclaim which he expected. He finally reached it through Around the Piano. The painting, however, remains the least known of series of four ones, perhaps because the people depicted are less famous.
Exhibited at the Salon of 1885, the painting was called The Wagnerists by visitors, as the person seated at the piano was thought to be Camille Saint-Saëns, a composer who was an early supporter of Wagner. Adolphe Jullien, a close friend of Latour, rejected this name, saying that Fantin did not want to paint an artistic manifesto, but simply a gathering of friends, and that the score on the piano, although indistinct, was a piece by Brahms.
Eight men are depicted around a piano, from left to right:
- Seated: Emmanuel Chabrier playing the piano, Edmond Maître and Amédée Pigeon
- Standing: Adolphe Jullien, Arthur Boisseau, Camille Benoît, Antoine Lascoux and Vincent d'Indy
- "Henri Fantin-Latour, Autour du piano, en 1885 — Notice de l'œuvre" (in French). Musée d'Orsay. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
- Liébert, Georges. "Wagner et la France" (in French). L'Histoire par image. Retrieved 19 March 2011.