The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Amand Desiré Gautier, 1825-1894

Nationality: French
Date of Birth: 1825.06.20
Place of Birth: Lille
Date of Death: 1894.01.29
Place of Death: Paris


Amand Desiré Gautier was a painter and lithographer.


Gautier, who was initially apprenticed to a lithographer, went on to study at the Académie in Lille under the sculptor Augustin-Phidias Cadet de Beaupré and in the studio of the neoclassical painter François Souchon, as well as at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Léon Cogniet. He made his début at the Salon in 1853.

His close friend, the doctor Paul Gachet, whose portrait he painted in 1861 (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille), introduced him to hospitals such as La Salpêtrière, which inspired The Madwomen of La Salpêtrière (exh. 1857, destr. 1870). The Realism of this work brought Gautier much critical acclaim from Maxime Du Camp, Jules-Antoine Castagnary, Théophile Gautier and Charles Baudelaire.

In April 1863 Henri Fantin-Latour wrote to JW to inform him that Gautier was among those artists refused entrance into the Salon (#01080). Gautier's The Adulteress (1860; untraced), along with JW's own Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38), was exhibited at the first Salon des Refusés in this year.

In 1867 Gustave Courbet, Gautier's friend and mentor, painted his portrait (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille). Like Courbet, Gautier's had republican sympathies and his activities as a member of the Commune resulted in his arrest and trial in June 1871. He returned to exhibiting at the Salon in 1874 until 1888, showing portraits, still-lifes and religious scenes.


Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Monneret, S., L'Impressionisme et son époque, Paris, 1978-79; Weisberg, G., The Realist Tradition: French Painting and Drawing, 1830-1900, exhibition catalogue, Glasgow Art Gallery and Museums, 1980-82; Scottez-De Wambrechies, Annie, 'Amand Desiré Gautier', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 6 November 2002).