Lamy, Franc

under construction

Franc Lamy (1855-1919)

born: Pierre Désiré Eugène Franc




Lamy (Franc) only joined the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1877:

At the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1877 Franc Lamy showed 4 works (catalogue numbers 76-79) (R2,p204). It were 4 city views with a global indication of place. Two with a specific indication of influence of sunlight, which indicates a impressionistic painting style. He was invited by Renoir to join (iR4).
See link for his pictures and for an account.

Pierre-Désiré-Eugène-Franc Lamy at the Salon:

Lamy mostly was called Pierre-Désiré-Eugène-Franc Lamy and sometimes Franc-P.-D.-E. Lamy. He exhibited yearly at the Salon from 1879 until 1905. (iR1) He received several awards at the Salon. (iR4;iR3)
See link for his pictures and for an account.



(Pierre-) Franc Lamy as an artist:

Franc Lamy was a pupil of Jean-Léon Gérôme (iR1;R9;iR24;R16) and Isidore Pils (iR1;R9;iR24;R16).
First Franc Lamy merely painted landscapes, especially of Versailles, Brugge and Italie (R9;R3;iR4;iR65). Later on he specialized in portraits (of elegant lady’s) and nudes (iR4;R3;iR5). He also worked as an illustrator; he did some work for the musician Cabaner (R3;iR5;iR4). After 1877 he made decorative art (iR69;R16). He painted lovely paintings with fresh colours (R9). In his later years Franc Lamy painted in a more classical style, but kept the freshness and lightness of his impressionistic years (R9).
It is important to discern Franc Lamy from Pierre-Auguste Lamy, an etcher, who was born in Paris and exhibited in the 1860’s and 70’s at the Salon and of François-Edouard Lamy, who was born in Salin and of a Herman-Blanc Lamy who exhibited at the Salon-des-Refuses in 1886. (iR1).

1911, Venice (Young Girl on a Balcony Overlooking San Giorgio Maggiore), xx, private (iR2;iR5;aR1). Maybe this work summarizes Franc-Lamy as an artist. Showing an elegant lady, rendering several details, but still using bright colours and rendering the sunlight. In the black shawl he uses (also) blues and purples.



Was Franc Lamy an impressionist?

Franc Lamy frequented Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes (R9;iR5), where he met other impressionists. According to Georges Rivière (1921) Renoir, Franc Lamy, Cordey, Goeneutte and later on Desboutin were an inseparable group of friends (iR4;R9;iR5). It was Renoir who stimulated him to abandon the dark colours of his early paintings (R9). He modelled for Renoir (1876) and Caillebotte (1888+89).

Renoir, 1876, Bal du moulin de la Galette (detail Franc Lamy), 131×175, Orsay (iR4;R31,p211)

Caillebotte, 1888, Portrait de Eugène Lamy, 66×55, A2014/05/07 (iR11;iR2)

Caillebotte, 1889, Portrait d’Eugène Lamy, 82×66, A2007/02/06 (iR11)

A biography of Pierre Désiré Eugène Franc Lamy:

  • 1855/05/12: Pierre Désiré Eugène Franc was born in Clermont-Ferrand (iR24)
    he later changed his name in Franc-Lamy (R3)
  • Franc Lamy was raised in Paris (iR4)
  • 1872-75: pupil of Isidore Pils, together with Cordey and Goeneutte (iR5;iR4).
  • 1873: entered the École des Beaux-Arts (iR5;iR4)
  • 1875: after the death of Pils, Franc Lamy became pupil of Henri Lehmann, together with his friends Cordey and Goeneutte (iR4;iR5)
  • 1876?: Franc Lamy switched classes and became pupil of Jean-Léon Gérôme, together with his friends Cordey and Goeneutte (iR4;iR5).
  • 1878: installed a studio at Rue des Moines, 82 in Paris (iR4)
  • 1879?-81: Franc Lamy lived at the Rue Lemercier, 79 in Paris (iR1;iR4)
  • 1880: Member of the ‘Société des Arts Français’ (R3); exhibits at their Salon
    (Spiess mentions he was a member of the ‘Sociétaire des Artistes français’. It is not clear for me if this is the same association. He wrongly mentions he was so since 1855, the year he was born. (R16).
    Bénézit mentions he was member of the ‘Société des Artistes Français’ from 1885 onwards and took part in the Salon des Artistes Français (iR69).
    Wikipedia mentions he exhibited at the Salon organized by the ‘artistes français’ (iR4).
  • In 1881 Franc Lamy initiated an auction in Hôtel Drouot for his sick friend and art-collector Cabaner (aR2;iR4). There were 2 works of himself auctioned: no. 20 Paysage (aquarelle); no.21 Fleurs (aR2).
  • 1881-92: lived at the Rue capron, 35 in Paris (iR1;iR4)
  • 1889: receives a mention honorable at the Exposition Universelle (iR4;R3)
  • 1893: appointed Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (iR4) or in 1892 (iR5)
  • 1893: lived at the Rue Brunel, 18 in Paris (iR4)
    later on: lived at the Rue Juliette-Lamber, 5 in Paris (iR4)
    and: cité Pigalle, 5 in Paris (iR4)
  • 1900: received a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle (iR4;R3)
  • Franc Lamy had relations with Mallarmé, Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, Léon Dierx, Maurice Rollinata and Nina de Callias, who was his lover for some time (R9;iR5;iR4)
  • Yvonne Delangle-Marevery, born in Rochefort studied under Franc Lamy (iR69).
  • Franc Lamy possessed a collection of old drawings from the 18th century (iR65)
    1912/11/25-26: 201 old drawings and 14 old paintings were auctioned (iR65;iR5;iR4)
  • 1914: appointed Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (iR4;iR5)
  • 1919/03/14 Franc Lamy died in Paris (iR24)
  • 1919/07/7-10: from his studio 185 paintings, 68 watercolours, 77 drawings and 7 engravings were auctioned (iR65); it is not indicated what were own works and what was bought by him
  • 1919/12/11-12:  231 works from the Franc Lamy collection were auctioned. Including 8 paintings of Franc Lamy himself; 22 paintings from old and modern artists; 40 pastels / watercolours / drawings; 17 engravings (iR65).




Many books about Impressionism don’t mention Franc Lamy at all. It is a pity there is no English Wikipedia page about Franc Lamy. My main sources are Moffett (1986, R2,p204), Walther (2013, R3,p662), Schurr & Cabanne (2008,p304=R9), Spiess (1992,p169=R16), the Salon database (iR1), Wikipedia (iR4;iR5), RKD (iR24), Bénézit (iR69),  and Marques (iR65). For other general references (=R) see. My main sources (for the pictures) from the internet are Wikimedia (iR6) and xx. For other references to internet sites (=iR) see. For other additional references (=aR) see below. See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.
For further reading see:
Bénézit (1976,vol.VI,p412=R75), Busse (1977,p720=R77), Witt (1978,p167=R78), Thieme & Becker (vol.22,p279=R79), Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon (1999,vol.6,p40=R81) (iR24)

Additional references:

  1. (shortly mentions Franc Lamy and renders several black and white images)
  2. (Franc Lamy role in the 1881 Drouot auction)
  3. (shows 3 works of Franc Lamy)