Eugène Carrière grew up in Strasbourg, the sixth of seven children in a working-class family. He attended the city's academy in 1862 and two years later worked as a commercial lithographer. In 1869 Carrière moved to Paris, where he discovered the art of the Old Masters, Rubens in particular, which influenced his decision to become an artist. He entered the École des Beaux-Arts and studied under one of the foremost academic painters, Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889). His training was suspended, however, with the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). Shortly after enlisting, he was captured by the Germans and taken to Dresden where he was held prisoner for one year. At the end of the war he returned to Paris to resume his studies under Cabanel, and to support himself he worked for a lithographer friend, Jules Chéret (1836-1932). Carrière's painting career took off slowly, and in the Salons of 1876, 1877, and 1878 his paintings received little recognition. In 1878 he married Sophie Desmonceaux (with whom he would have seven children), and the couple spent six months in London where he discovered the works of Turner (q.v.). Back in Paris, he spent the next decade working odd jobs, most often in printshops in order to sustain his family. Through his brother, a ceramist, Carrière began working in 1880 for the Sèvres porcelain factory and there met sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). This friendly and steady associ-ation inspired each artist's work. In 1879 Carrière had painted his first maternité entitled Jeune mère (Musée Calvet, Avignon), a subject to which he would return throughout his career. His success as a painter began at the Salon of 1884 when his entry received an honorable mention. His good fortune continued with awards at the Salons of 1885 and 1887. Two years later, a medal at the Universal Exposition and the Legion of Honor indicated how well his work was received by critics, artists, and writers. From 1890 through 1897, Carrière lived his most fruitful years as an artist, began making lithographs, and frequently traveled abroad. He was connected with most of the important critics and avant-garde artists of the time, such as Bonnard (q.v.), Gauguin (q.v.), Vuillard (q.v.), Maurice Denis (1870-1943), and Paul Sérusier (1864-1927). He was also admired by the symbolists for the dreamlike quality of his paintings. In 1890 he associated himself with Meissonier (q.v.), Rodin, Félix Bracquemond (1833-1914), and Puvis de Chavannes (q.v.), who founded the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in opposition to the official system of the Salon des Artistes Français. In 1903, in an effort to oppose restrictive rules of the Société Nationale, Carrière established a new salon, the Salon d'Automne, and was named its president.
French art dealer and publisher, 1867-1939