Lamy, Franc



Impressionism: partaker of the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition

Franc Lamy

born: Pierre-Désiré-Eugène Franc


More than a friend of Renoir


Was Franc Lamy an impressionist?
Franc Lamy only joined the ‘impressionist’ expositions one time in 1877. In that sense he did not belong to the ‘impressionist’ art-movement. But Frank Lamy did have many contacts within the ‘impressionist’ circles. He belonged to a group of friends around Renoir, for whom he also modelled (1876). He frequented Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes and joined the dinners at Murer, where he met other ‘impressionists’. In 1881 he succeeded in joining his ‘impressionist’ friends in a benefit auction for the composer Cabaner. In this sense you could say that Frank-Lamy was part of the ‘impressionist’ art-movement.
It was Renoir who stimulated him to abandon the dark colours of his early paintings (R9). In his later years he still would use fresh colours, but his style became more influenced by Realism and even Neo-Classicism. In several titles of his works (exhibited) there is an indication of location and sometimes of time of day or season (iR1). There are not many works known by Franc Lamy, many of his paintings are not dated, other works are disputable if they are made by Franc Lamy. But in general one could say that he just partly painted in an impressionist painting style.


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 an 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 and other exhibitions:
Franc Lamy almost yearly exhibited at the Salon and the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français (from 1879-1914). He is called a pupil of Gérôme (1879-1883) and later also of Pils (1884-1914). He is called a membre or sociétaire de la Société des Artistes Français (from 1887-1914). In 1887 he received a ‘mention honorable’ and in 1888 a 3rd class medal. In 1889 he exhibited exempté. In 1890 he received a 2nd class medal. From 1891-1914 he exhibited hors concours. (see awards) Mostly he exhibited paintings. In 1913 + 1914 he also showed coloured etchings. And maybe in 1881 +87 aquarelles.
Franc Lamy sometimes exhibited at regional exhibitions, namely in Toulouse. Franc Lamy exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in 1889 (when he received a mention honorable) and in 1900 (when he received a bronze medal)  (iR1;iR4;R3;R88;R9)
See link for his pictures and for an account.

Pierre Franc Lamy as an artist:
From 1872 till 1875 Franc-Lamy was a pupil of Isidore Pils, together with Cordey and Goeneutte (iR1;R9;R88;iR69;iR3;iR4;iR5;aR3). In 1873 he officially entered the École des Beaux-Arts (iR5;iR4). 1875: after the death of Pils, Franc Lamy, Cordey and Goeneutte became pupil of Henri Lehmann (iR4;iR5;R16;iR22;R1,p384). Probably in 1876 they switched classes and became pupil of Jean-Léon Gérôme (iR4;iR5;iR1;R9;iR24;R16;R88;aR3). Together with his friend Cordey (and Norbert Goeneutte) he resisted against the classical teachings of the Ecole des Beaux-arts and asked Manet to be his pupils in a ‘free studio’; Manet refused (R1,p384/5;R88;R3;iR5).
According to Georges Rivière (1921) Renoir, Franc Lamy, Cordey, Goeneutte and later on Desboutin were an inseparable group of friends (iR4;R9;iR5). Together with Cordey, Rivière, Lestringuez, DuretChocquet and Edmond Maître (a writer / musician), Frank-Lamy gathered in the garden of Renoir’s house in the Rue Cortot and in his studio on the Rue Saint-Georges. Many of them helped to carry everyday the canvas on which Renoir would paint his famous ‘Moulin de la Galette‘, on which most of them also were portrayed (R1,p384-6;R16;R8,p246;R88;R82,p22-3). According to Sue Roe, it was Lamy who stimulated Renoir to do the painting on the spot (R4,p163). Sue Roe writes that Lamy and Rivière painted side by side with Renoir (R4,p164) and Cordey and Lamy also would paint the scenery of his brightly coloured garden (R4,p166). Sue Roe claims that Renoir knew Cordey, Frank-Lamy and Norbert Goenuette from his time at Atelier Gleyre (R4,p161), this was from 1861-64, but by than they were less than 11 years old.
Frank-Lamy regularly visited Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes (R3;iR5;R9;R88). Cordey and Frank-Lamy later joined the wednesday dinners at Eugène Murer, which were also frequented by Cézanne, Guillaumin, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley and also Guérard (Eva Gonzalès’ husband), the etcher Bresdin (Redon’s master), Cabaner (a musician), ChampleuryHoschedé and Père Tanguy  (R1,p414;R88). He also had connections with Nina de Callias (who was his lover for some time), Charles Cros (a poet), Cabaner, Dr Gachet, Mallarmé,  Villiers de L’Isle-Adam (whom he depicted on his deathbed), Léon Dierx, Maurice Rollinata (R88;R9;iR5;iR4). Franc-Lamy made illustrations for the poems of Charles Cros and de Richepin (R88). Note: Nina de Callias was born as Anne-Marie Gaillard (1843-84) and also known as Nina de Villard; from 1862-82 she had a musical salon, where also Cabaner and Cros (who also was her lover)  visited (iR3;iR256); it was depicted by Franc-Lamy.

It was Renoir who stimulated him to abandon the dark colours of his early paintings (R9). Franc Lamy painted landscapes, especially of Versailles, Brugge and Italy (iR1;R9;R3;iR4;iR65). His watercolours made in Venice and Holland have a lot of freshness (R88). He was specialized in portraits (of elegant lady’s) and nudes (iR4;R3;iR5). He also worked as an illustrator and 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). Duret wrote in 1878 that he is one of the artists closely linked to the 5 key Impressionists (R142,p131/2), but in a later edition he left him out (R7). In his later years Franc Lamy painted in a more classical style, but kept the freshness and lightness of his impressionistic years (R9;R88). His paintings ‘Le conseil de révision’ (musée de Clermont-Ferrand=M199) and ‘Au fond des bois’ (musée de Nice=M206) combine a somewhat academic realism with an impressionist technique (R88). It was Frank-Lamy, through a translated work about the painter Cennino Cennini, who made Renoir turn to Classicism around 1882 (R88). Roger-Milès (1904) first praised the accuracy of his execution, of his ‘hand’, but criticises the development of his ‘eye’. Later on, he acknowledged, that Franc Lamy also succeeded in rendering emotion in his works, rendering the soul of a landscape. He praised the landscapes he exhibited in 1904 as ‘vibrant paintings, with such a beautiful glow’. (aR4).


A biography of Pierre Désiré Eugène Franc Lamy:

  • 1855/05/12: Pierre Désiré Eugène Franc was born in Clermont-Ferrand (iR24;R88)
    he later changed his name in Franc-Lamy (R3)
  • Franc Lamy was raised in Paris (iR4)
  • 1874-75: Franc Lamy followed evening classes at the École des Beaux-Arts and was a pupil of Pils (aR8)
  • 1875: maked a copy of the ‘last judgement’ of Michelangelo (aR3)
  • 1876: Roger-Milès wrongly wrote that Franc Lamy joined the ‘impressionists’ in 1876 at their ‘first exposition’ (aR3)
  • 1876: Franc Lamy joined the army and maked pictures of soldiers (aR3)
  • 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 onwards: exhibited at the Salon de la ‘Société des Artistes Français‘; since 1887 he is noted as Member (Sociétaire) (iR1;iR69;iR4;R3;R16).
  • 1881/05/14: A by Franc Lamy initiated benefit auction in Hôtel Drouot for his sick friend, composer and art-collector Ernest Cabaner, stricking with consumption, to raise money to send him on a cure at Amélie-les-Bains; the catalogue contained 38 paintings, which raised 2500fr (R88I,p88;R116I,p172;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: received a mention honorable at the Exposition Universelle (iR1;iR4;R3;R88)
  • 1893: appointed Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (iR1;iR4) not in 1892 (iR5)
  • 1893: lived at the Rue Brunel, 18 in Paris (iR1;iR4)
  • 1894: lived at the Rue Juliette-Lamber, 5 in Paris (iR1;iR4)
  • 1895: lived at the Cité Pigalle, 5 in Paris (iR1;iR4)
  • 1896-99: lived at Rue Ballu, 50 (iR1)
  • 1900-1905 (or 1907): lived at Boulevard des Batignolles, 48 (iR1)
  • 1900: received a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle (iR1;iR4;R3;R9)
  • 1904/03/01-22: exhibition of 102 works made in Venice (21x), Holland (47x) and Brugge (34x) (aR4)
  • 1908-14?: lived at Boulevard Pereire, 121 (iR1)
  • 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;R88)
  • 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 (R5;R6;R8;R14;R15;R17;R19;R21;R22;R86;R94;R95). It is a pity there is no English Wikipedia page about Franc Lamy. My main sources are the (short) monographs of Walther (2013=R3,p662), Schurr & Cabanne (2008,p304=R9), Spiess (1992,p169=R16), Monneret (1978-81I,p253/4=R88). Other sources are: Rewald (1973=R1,p384-6+391+414), Moffett (1986, R2,p204), Walther (2013, R3,p199), Roe (2006=R4,p161+163+164+166), Pissarro&Durand-Ruel (2005=R116I,p172), the Salon database (iR1), Wikipedia (iR4;iR5), RKD (iR24), Bénézit (iR69),  and Marques (iR65). For other general references (=R) see. In books about Impressionism there are almost no paintings of Frank-Lamy, except in Walther (R3,p370). Some refer to him as a model in paintings of others (R1,p383). My main sources (for the pictures) from the internet are the Athenaeum (R2), Wikimedia (iR6), mutualart (iR11), artnet (iR13), Invaluable (iR17), Joconde (iR23), iment (aR1) and Google images (iR10). 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)
Paulme, Marius (ed.): Catalogue de dessins, aquarelles, gouaches, tableaux de la collection de monsieur Franc Lamy. Paris, 1912.

Additional references:

  1. (shortly mentions Franc Lamy and renders several black and white images)
  2. (Franc Lamy role in the 1881 Drouot auction benefit for the composer Cabaner)
  3. (shows 3 works of Franc Lamy)
  4. (exposition 1904/03/01 of his works made in Holland, Venice and Brugge, with introduction by L. Roger-Milès; =iR19)
  5. (overview page on Franc Lamy of the Bibliothèque National de France; =iR26)
  6. (Danish auction catalogue with several plates of Franc Lamy; =iR258)
  7. “Frank Lamy.” In Database of Modern Exhibitions (DoME). European Paintings and Drawings 1905-1915. Last modified Jun 22, 2020.  =iR261; overview of contributions of Frank Lamy in exhibitions and auctions from 1905-1915 (2 entries)
  8. (pictures from the École National des Beaux-Arts; =M9)
  9. x



Recommanded citation: “Impressionism: Franc Lamy, partaker of the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition; more than a friend of Renoir. Last modified 2024/03/10.”


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