Frederic Jacque

(Paris 1859,1931)

Son of the famed Barbizon painter Charles-Emile Jacque, Frederic was indispensable in preserving the legacies of his father and the Barbizon School. Carrying on in his father’s footsteps, he became a landscape and animal painter, engraver, and lithographer. He won a Medal of Honour at the Universal Exposition of 1889. Two years later he exhibited at the Society of Painters and Engravers, where he showed intermittently until 1906, presenting the Salon there with a series of etchings after the work of Jean-Francois Millet. To the salon of 1893 he sent Les Braconniers (The Poachers), now in the Museé de Morlaix.

Although continuing to paint, from 1895 Frederic showed the Salons only original etchings or engravings after other artists, including his father, Corot, Millet, and Colson. At the Universal Exposition of 1900 he showed an original etching, Bon Soir (Good Evening); and at the Salon he showed a lithograph, Buveurs (Drinkers).

The number of addresses he gave to the Salons provides evidence that he moved frequently, living in nearly a dozen different homes in and around Paris. In 1910 he settled temporarily with his family at Bessy-sur-Cure (Yonne), where he met the Neo-Impressionist painter Maximilen Luce. He would often return to this picturesque village in the summers to paint its landscapes, with green shores encircling abrupt cliffs.

The end of First World War saw the triumph on the art market of Impressionism and the emergence of abstract art. For a painter attached to the naturalistic landscape tradition of Barbizon, adaptation was difficult. Frederic soon left Paris altogether, settling with his family in Barbizon. Painting always had a solid clientele in the village, which had become a place of tourist pilgrimage and holiday since the arrival of the train at the end of last century. In 1927 Frederic joined with the late Barbizon painter Paul Chaigneau (1879-1938) in creating a local museum dedicated to the Barbizon School. Le Museé de L’Ecole de Barbizon is still in existence; and Frederic Jacque was its first Assistant Curator.

Frederic Jacque had several pupils, including the son of the painter Millet. Three of Frederic’s own sons became painters as well, continuing the family tradition well into the twentieth century.

He died on 10 May 1931 at his home in Barbizon.