Today is the birthday of the botanical painter Henri Fantin-Latour (Fahn-tahn Lah-tur”).
It's kind of humorous to me that we end up discussing Henri Fantin-LaTour today - right after Pierre Joseph Redoute - because Henri painted flowers as well. But, unlike Pierre Joseph Redoute, Henri got so sick of painting flowers that he could find no joy in doing it for the end of his career.
All together, Henry painted well over 800 pictures of flowers over 32 years between 1864 and 1896. By the end of his career, the entire genre of still life flower painting was life-draining to him. He despised it. Yet, it's how he made a living, and many of his paintings bought to be displayed in homes.
The painter James Whistler talked up Henri’s work so much that his flower paintings were quite famous in England. In fact, during his lifetime, he was better known in England as a painter than he was in his native France.
Henri also painted portraits, as well as group portraits of Parisian artists, and he even painted imaginative compositions. He enjoyed painting portraits and his other creative work more than painting flowers. But, it was always the flower paintings that sold, and so he kept painting them to support himself.