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Marie-François Firmin-Girard

(1838 - 1921)

Marie-François Firmin-Girard was born in the village of Poncin, 29th May 1838. He moved to Paris at an early age enrolling in the Academy des Beaux Arts in 1854 aged sixteen. He studied under Marc-Gabriel-Charles Gleyre (1806-1874) the Swiss painter of historical and genre subjects and made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1859 with a biblical subject, St. Sebastien. Firmin-Girard continued to exhibit at the Salon, historical and biblical subjects, landscapes, but above all genre works, scenes of everyday life in Paris and its suburbs.

In 1863 Firmin-Girard was awarded a medal, third-class at the Salon for ‘Apres Le Bal’ having received second prize in the Prix de Rome of 1861. Continuing to exhibit throughout the remaining decades of the nineteenth century, Firmin-Girard achieved considerable success. In 1900 he received a bronze medal at the Universal Expo for ‘Le Quai aux Fleurs’ and for ‘Berger d’Onival’.

Firmin-Girard had a considerable following not only in France and England but as early in the 1870’s and 1880’s was sought after by North American collectors.

Firmin-Girard died in Montluçon, 8th January 1921. His works can be found in museums in: Avignon; Bourges; Helsingfors and Mayenne.