Louis Legrand

1863 – 1951

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The brilliant draughtsman and superbly gifted printmaker Louis Legrand, is one of the most famous artists of the French Belle Époque. Through his stylish portrayal of ladies, dancers, café life and the decadent world of the beau monde, Louis Legrand captured the essence of the fin de siècle. He became one of the most admired artists of the era and was perhaps the most successful printmaker of his period in Paris.

Louis Legrand received his intial artistic training at the École des Beaux-Arts in his native town of Dijon. However, as a young man he became the pupil of the highly influential Belgian artist and printmaker, Félicien Rops. Rops was a technical genius as a printmaker and it was through him that Louis Legrand learned the methods and intricacies of printmaking. Legrand moved to Paris where he obtained employment as an illustrator of periodicals such as Courrier Français. In 1891 the success of his studies depicting the Can-Can brought him to the attention of the now famous publisher Gustave Pellet. Pellet was already a publisher of some significance, handling the work of other contemporary artists of repute including Raffaelli, Lautrec, Signac, Lunois and Redon. Pellet began to commission prints from Louis Legrand, soon becoming his mentor and most passionate collector.