Artist Information

Adolphe (Jacques Barthelemy) Appian

Contemporary Barbizon school painter, printmaker
1818 - 1898

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Adolphe Appian (born Jacques-Barthelemy) was born in Lyon, France, in 1818. At the age of fifteen, Appian began studying at the School of Fine Arts in Lyon, where he encountered the landscape painter Jean-Michel Grobon. Grobon saw in Appian a natural talent and encouraged him to pursue landscape painting. Due to his success, Appian was able to continue his studies in Paris, where he befriended Camille Corot and Charles Francis Daubigny.

It was under these two masters that Appian honed his skill for etching, broadening his artistic career. Appian was well-known for his skillful depictions of light in all mediums, from watercolor to etching, and was known to enjoy working plein air. His work with light was later used for inspiration by the Impressionists. He would come to embrace etching wholeheartedly by the 1860s, and became extremely renowned for his works in this medium as etching rose in prominence and esteem.

In 1853 he began exhibiting, and by 1888 he had received the Gold medal at the Paris Salon. Prior to 1871, Appian was known for his more somber works, but later in his career he became a great colorist and perhaps began to take inspiration from Japanese prints. His career, unfortunately, saw a slump prior to his death in 1898, but today he is regarded as one of the most prolific and impressive French landscape etchers of the Barbizon period.

Madison Duran ‘20
February 2020

“Adolphe Appian.” Biography of Adolphe Appian,
“Adolphe Appian (1818-1898).” Art Experts Website,