Attendu, Antoine-Ferdinand

almost finished

Antoine-Ferdinand Attendu (1845-1908 )



Attendu sometimes painted in an impressionist style:

Attendu only joined the first ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1874. He painted mainly still lives and is hardly mentioned in books on Impressionism. Many say he didn’t paint in an impressionistic style. But look at this picture below ‘Street view, snow effect’. The atmosphere of a greyish winter day is perceptible. The brush stroke gives it a vivid radiance. (By the way it is still for sale, see artnet. I hope a museum makes this beautiful impressionistic painting accessible for public to enjoy.)

Introduction to Attendu:

  • There is not much known of Attendu
  • On this page I represent the most I have found about Attendu on the internet and the little I found in books
  • He joined the first ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1874
  • He often exhibited at the Salon from 1870-1905 (iR1)
  • On this page you will find some suggestions of what he could have exhibited
  • See here for an account of the chosen works (references, translations, analyses, info, discussion, locations on Google-maps)
  • See here for an explanation of the subscriptions with the pictures
  • See here for the general references (=R) to the used sources; for general references to internet pages (=iR)  see; at the bottom of the page you’ll find additional references (=aR) on Attendu.



Attendu, general info:

There is very little known about Attendu. Most sources, if they mention him at all, only mention that he was one of the partakers in the 1874 exposition. Walther only mentions him in his lexicon and as member of the first exposition in 1874 (R3,p645). Moffett calls him (and others) more traditional artist (R2,p105) but also that they regularly exhibited at the Salon before 1874, which is not true of Attendu. Moffett doesn’t give any more information; neither does he mention commentary of contemporary art-critics (R2).



Attendu, a short private biography:



Attendu, short chronology as a painter:

  • He was a student of M.L. or M. Mettling (aR1) = Louis Mettling (R3), sometimes wrongly spelled as Metting (aR3)
    (on the internet I find only a Louis Mettling who was born 1847, which means he was younger than Attendu and probably not his teacher; see for example artnet ; and there is a V.L. Mettling who showed one work at the Exposition Universelle in 1889, see ; the Salons database mentions a Louis Mettling who showed work at the Salon in 1872, 1880 and later and he was born in Dijon, Côté-d’or, aR1; Moffett mentions that a Louis Mettling was a co-founder of the Société anonyme…)
  • 1870 debut at the Salon with a painting and an aquarelle (aR1)
  • 1873 exhibited two paintings at the Salon des Refusée (aR1)
  • 1874 exhibited at the first ‘impressionist’ exposition (R2)
    4 or more oil paintings and 3 aquarelles, see account
    probably introduced by Degas (aR3)
    (it would be interesting to know if Degas mentions him in his writings)
  • 1874-1890 exhibits yearly at the Salon with 1, 2 or 3 works (aR1)
    mostly with still lives
    1870-1898 exhibits regularly at the Salon (R3; aR3)
    (it would be interesting to know if and what contemporary art-critics wrote about him)
  • 1875 – 1896 exhibits regularly at the Salon du Havre (aR3)
  • 1885 – 1892 Attendu exhibits at the Salon de l’Union artistique in Toulouse (aR1)
    with one or two works; mostly with still lives
    1885, 2x; 1886, 2x; 1888, 1x; 1889, 1x; 1891, 1x; 1892, 1x
  • 1887 member of the ‘Société des artistes’ Français (aR1)
  • 1905 -1908 exhibits at the Salon d’hiver (aR3)



Attendu, general info as an artist:

  • Attendu painted many still lives in which he often painted kitchen utensils and food (aR1; aR3)
  • He (probably) painted some portraits (see 1874-8; S1870-3024; SdR1873-400; S1881-50; S1888-66; S1889-58)
  • He (probably painted some city views (see 1874-9; S1880-94; S1881-49; S1883-56)
  • He (probably) painted some landscapes (see S1885-2511; R3; aR3; R5)
    Walther introduces him as a landscape and still life painter (R3,p645)
    Because the number of his landscapes probably is small, I think it better to merely call him a still life painter
  • He (probably) painted a few interieurs (S1890-50)
  • he worked in a naturalistic style (aR3)
  • he was a conventional realist (R5);
  • he worked in Paris and Neuilly-sur-Seine (R3; aR3)
  • three of his works are now known to be in a museum (aR3)
  • Jeanne Lauvernay Petitjean was a student of him (aR3)
    she also painted many still lives



Was Attendu an Impressionist?

Attendu only joined the first ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1874. Before that he was accepted by the Salon in 1870, but rejected in 1873 (and exhibited at the Salon des Refusés) and probably was rejected in 1872. These rejections probably made his relationship with the Salon ambivalent and maybe this motivated him to join the alternative ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1874. Fact is though that about the same time he was able to show a work in the Salon of 1874. After 1874 he was accepted every year at the Salon and therefore maybe not motivated to look for an alternative.
He probably didn’t have many relationships with the other impressionists. Sue Roe doesn’t mention him in her book (R4). There is no portret known of Attendu made by another impressionist. It’s only known that he was introduced by Degas (aR3).
His still lives are not in an impressionistic style. He uses many blacks and browns and his brushstroke is not very lively. He renders a lot of detail. Still he also tries to render the effect of the light which influences the colour of the object (see also aR3). Some claim Attendu’s landscapes are not in an impressionistic style (R5). I can’t compare because I don’t know any of his landscapes. When I look at the two city views (see above) than I recognize impressionist elements. Walther mentions him as one of the artists who didn’t conquer a place in art history and didn’t paint in a impressionist way (R3,p136).
So mainly you can say that Attendu nearly didn’t belong to the impressionist art movement and mostly didn’t paint in an impressionistic painting style.



Additional references (=aR):

  1. (=iR1)
    Salons et expositions de groupes 1673-1914 »,, un projet du musée d’Orsay et de l’Institut national d’histoire de l’art soutenu par le Ministère de la Culture et de la communication, consulté le 27/09/2017
  2. (=iR13)
    info on works showed at auctions
    many works of Attendu !!!
    for full access you have to pay
  3. (=iR5)
  4. (=iR6)
    info and images on many artists
    download free large images
  5. (=iR35)
    interesting articles on vanished impressionists as Attendu
  6. (=iR37)
    a single picture on Attendu
  7. RKD=Netherlands Institute for Art History (=iR24)
    limited info; text also in English
  8. (=iR14)
    references to text documents; unclear if it refers to the artist; attendu means also ‘waited’
  9. (=iR15)
    one work of Attendu
  10. (=iR42)
    two works of Attendu
  11. (=iR16)
    searching on artist -> most artists -> info on works showed at auctions (no pictures)
  12. (=iR41)
    renders three works of Attendu; for full access you have to pay
    the images are limited in size
  13. (=iR34)
    info on impressionism and the eight expositions
    one work of Attendu