Vidal, Eugène



Impressionism: partaker of 2 ‘impressionist’ expositions

 Eugène Vidal

a portraitist shortly joining the Impressionists


Was Eugène Vidal an Impressionist?
Vidal only joined the 5th and 6th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1880 and 1881, in total exhibiting only 11 works. There is not much known about him. He probably had some contacts with Degas, Lebourg and Renoir. But probably he seemed to be just a side-figure within the ‘impressionist’ art-movement.  Still, 1892 onwards, Vidal choose to exhibit with the independent Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
Vidal mainly made portraits, rendering especially elegant ladies. Mostly the figures are clearly discerned from their background. Vidal often rendered details. Vidal hardly rendered every day life. His brushstroke is (in the earlier years) mostly quite smooth. Vidal didn’t seem to be focused on the influence of light on colour, though he sometimes gives attention to this. A black dress is rendered with black paint. Vidal also used many greys and browns. Still, often his paintings are quite bright. So we can say that Vidal hardly did paint in an impressionist style.


Eugène Vidal at the Salon:
Before Eugène Vidal exhibited at the ‘impressionist’ expositions, he exhibited at the Salon in 1873/ 74/ 75/ 76/ 78 (iR1;R3;R9;iR69;R88). And afterwards he exhibited again at the successor the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français in 1882/ 83/ 85 (iR1;R9). So in total he exhibited 7 times at the Salon showing 10 works.
See link for his pictures. See link for an account.


Eugène Vidal joined the ‘impressionist’ expositions in 1880 and 1881:
At the 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1880 Vidal showed 9 works (catalogue numbers 207-215; R2,p314), all of them portraits and figure painting. Several art-critics didn’t see Vidal as an Impressionist, but more a pupil of Ingres and fit to hang at the Salon (R90I).
At the 6th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1881 Vidal showed just 2 works, including one that was not in the catalogue (catalogue number 150+hc; R2,p356). There were many reviews. Several called his work a genre painting fit for the Salon. One review wrote ‘it seems to us that impressionism has little to do with this painting.’ (R90I,p364). Louis Enault called Au café ’the pearl of this Exhibition’ (R90I,p339).
See link for his pictures. See link for an account.


Eugène Vidal at other exhibitions:
Vidal exhibited regularly at the Salons of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts (=SNBA). He did so in 1892 / 93/ 94/ 95/ 96/ 97 / 98/ 99/ 1902 / 03 / 05 / 06 / 07 and posthumous in 1908 (iR1;R228). Vidal was a ‘Sociétaire (au dessin)’ and a ‘Associé à la peinture’ de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts (iR1;aR2). In 1900 Vidal received a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle (=EU), with studies and pastels (R88;iR69;R3;R9;iR60;aR2). In 1903 Vidal exhibited 1 watercolour at the first exhibition of the Salon d’Automne (=SdA; R239).


Eugène Vidal as an artist:
Vidal was a pupil of Gérôme (iR1;R9;R88;R3;iR69). Also followed the École des Beaux-Arts (R9). Some claim that Vidal was a protégé of Degas and belonged to his faction (R1,p449;R5,p125); Caillebotte (1881/01/24) did so and called him a fighter of Realism (R102,p275).
In Algers around 1873 and 1876 he painted with a thick, firm, generous paste (R9;iR69). He had an eclectic style (R9). A work titled ‘Jeune fille de dos coiffée d’un chapeau’ was more in the style of Cassatt (R88;R9).
Vidal did meet Lebourg in Alger. On Lebourg his departure, Vidal gave him a note of introduction to the art dealer Portier (R88). At the end of his life Vidal lived in Cagnes-sur-Mer, where Renoir also lived; they also had some correspondance when Renoir was in Pont-Aven (R88).


Eugène-Vincent Vidal, a short biography:

  • Eugène-Vincent Vidal was born in Paris. Some sources render he was born in 1844 (iR60;R88), 1847 (R3), 1850 (R9;iR69;iR24;iR11;iR41)
  • 1863/10/03 (or: 1863/03/10): there is a marriage document of Eugène Vidal, born in Lozère, marrying Marie Victorine Hugon (iR67)
  • 1865: there is a document of an Eugene Vidal who, aged 21, immigrated to New York (iR67)
  • 1873?-74: Vidal lived at 62, rue Legendre, Paris (Batignolles) (iR1)
  • 1873ca: Journey to Algers (R9;R3)
  • 1875: Vidal lived at 5, passage Masséna, Neuilly (Seine) (iR1)
  • 1876: Vidal stayed in Algers, at the École des Beaux-Arts (iR1)
  • 1877/09/11: there is a marriage document of an Eugène Vidal marrying Marie Chabenet in a Protestant Church; there daughter Eugénie Marguerite was born 1877/10/21 (iR67)
  • 1878-80: Vidal lived at 44, Rue de la Tour-d’Auvergne, Paris (iR1;R2,p314), in the 9th arroundissement (iR9).
  • 1881: Vidal lived at 26, boulevard de Clichy, Paris (R2,p356), close to the Place Pigalle (iR9).
    1882: Vidal lived at 20, boulevard de Clichy, Paris (iR1); was this the same address, but the numbers change?
  • 1883: Vidal lived at 11, boulevard de Clichy, Paris (iR1)
  • 1892-93: Vidal lived at 44, Rue Villejust, Paris (iR1), I can’t find this location.
  • 1894-97: Vidal lived at 233, Faubourg Saint-Honoré (iR1), close to the Arc de Triomph (iR9).
    1897-1907: Vidal lived at 235, Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris, 16th arrondissement; 1906 onwards this is called the 8th arrondissement (iR1); maybe it was the same address and that the number had changed.
  • 1895: Vidal also lived at 54, Rue Lepic (iR1)
  • Vidal died in Cagnes-sur-mer (aR2;iR23;R3;R9;iR60;iR24).
    1908/01/11: in a necrologie in La Chronique des Arts mentioned that Eugène-Vincent Vidal has just passed away (‘vient de mourir’) (aR2=iR40)
    Some sources note that Vidal died in 1907 (R3;iR60;R88),
    Other sources note that Vidal died in 1908 (R9;R2,p509;iR60;iR69;iR24;iR11;iR41;iR23)
  • 1908/04/15: at the start of the Salon of the Société National des Beaux-Arts Eugène Vidal had passed and works were exhibited posthumously (iR1).


In many books on Impressionism Eugène Vidal is not mentioned at all (R5;R6;R8;R19;R86;R94;R95), neither in Catalogues Raisonné of Impressionist artists (R22;R102;R116;R181) and not even in the book of Adler about the unknown Impressionists (R89). There also isn’t a Wikipedia page on Eugène Vidal (iR3;iR4), nor does (iR19), nor the BNF (iR26) render any documents. Some just list him as one of the partakers of the ‘impressionist’ expositions in 1880 + 1881 (R1;R4). My main sources are Moffett (1986=R2), Walther (2013=R3,p702), Schurr&Cabanne (2008=R9,p725), Monneret (1978-81=R88II,p74+75), Berson (1996=R90), the Salon database (iR1), RKD (iR24), Gallica (iR40), ULAN (iR60), family search (iR67), Bénézit (iR69) and the additional references (aRx). For other general references (=R) see. My main sources (for the pictures) from the internet are the-athenaeum (iR2), Wikimedia (iR6), mutualart (iR11), artnet (iR13), invaluable (iR17), Joconde (iR23) 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:
Bénézit (1976,vol.X,p492/3=R75;1999=R76); Busse (1977=R77); Witt (1978,p316=R78); Allgemeines Künstlerlexicon (=R81). (iR24;iR60)

Additional references:

  1. pictures received by others
  2. (necrologie of Eugène-Vincent Vidal on page 15 of the 1908/01/11 edition of La Chronique des Arts et de la Curiosité (supplément à la Gazette des Beaux-Arts; =iR40)



Recommanded citation: “Impressionism: Eugène Vidal, a portraitist shortly joining the Impressionists. Last modified 2024/01/30.”