Jean Béraud was the son of a French sculptor but first studied law in Paris, turning to painting after the Franco-Prussian War. His two years at the École des Beaux-Arts under Léon Bonnat (1833-1922) inspired him to paint portraits
As a Belle Époque painter and illustrator, Jean Béraud skillfully documented Parisian daily life, which by then had become a spectacle of display and a display of the spectacular. After Baron Haussmann expanded Paris’s boulevards, renewed interest was found in fashionable strolls around the city. Béraud’s work focused on Paris, studying urban life and its people. Béraud had ample subject matter to be inspired by as Paris became a city of flaneurs, idle metropolitan strollers. The leisurely activity of aimless wandering became a hobby for the most cultured of individuals.
Jean Béraud achieved success and honours in his lifetime, exhibiting at annual Salons from 1873 to 1889, and he was awarded a gold medal at the 1889 Paris International Exhibition. He was an active founding member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, exhibiting there from 1890 to 1929. In 1936, a year after his death, the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Musée Carnavalet, held memorial exhibitions of his work.
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