BIOGRAPHY - Jules Alexis Muenier (1863 - 1942)
With the introduction of photography as a method of capturing the daily life of people many artist's felt that their livelihood would suffer. However, Muenier would become one of the leading proponents for the use of photography, as a method of creating studies, to help create their final works.
Born in Vesoul on November 29, 1863, Muenier studied under Jean L. Gérome and was a close friend of the Realist artist Dagnan-Bouveret. Muenier lived most of his life in the areas surrounding Vesoul; living in the village of Coulevon in Gérome's former mansion. Many of his paintings capture the villagers of Coulevon during their daily activities and he often used a camera to capture these moments. Village of Coulevon Looking towards Vesoul is a view from the artist's home looking towards the river and hills that separate Coulevon from Vesoul.
By the late 1880's he had built a glass studio on his property and exhibited his first work at the Paris Salon: Le Bréviaire (1887). His work was highly praised and success was quick in coming. In 1891 he exhibited The Catechism Lesson, a work that brought the artist much acclaim from not only private collectors, but from the French Government (who ultimately purchased the work).
He received the Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1895 and a Gold medal at the Exposition Univrselle de 1900.