François-Auguste Biard, the traveling painter, at Victor Hugo’s House

Published by Elodie D., Cécile D. · Published on 26 August 2020 at 12h00 · Updated on 26 August 2020 at 14h00
Victor Hugo’s house gives François-Auguste Biard – an ethnographer painter who painted the magnificent landscapes in the North and the Amazonian forest – pride of place. 80 works – most of them never been seen before – are displayed from November 5, 2020 to March 7, 2021.

This exhibition at Victor Hugo’s house is the first retrospective devoted to François-Auguste Biard (1799-1882). Ethnographer painter, he travelled a lot to reproduce the world, and he was particularly talent to reproduce movements and colors. The François-Auguste Biard, peintre voyageur exhibition is to be discovered from November 5, 2020 to March 7, 2021.

After introducing the painter, his career and his family, the exhibition focuses on the world he knew and explored. This retrospective gathers about 80 works, most of them being displayed for the first time. François-Auguste Biard started by traveling along the Mediterranean Sea, to Malta, Cyprus, Syria and Egypt.

Then, Joseph Paul Gaimard asks him to take part in an expedition in Spitsbergen and Lapland. A section of the exhibition will be devoted to it, displaying paintings painted on the occasion and echoing panels painted for the National Museum of Natural History.

Fun fact, he will go on this expedition with writer Leonie d’Ainet who will become his wife. She will cheat on him with Victor Hugo from 1843 to 1850. The couple officially breaks up in 1855.

Towards 1858, Biard leaves for two years to Brazil. He stays about one year in Rio de Janeiro working at the court of the Emperor Pedro II. He visits the inland and the Amazonia he will paint the beauty of. Before sailing back to France, he goes to North America and immortalize his journey with a painting, “Comment on voyage en chemin de fer dans l’Amérique du Nord” [How we travel by railway in North America] displayed at the Salon in 1861. Even though he is appreciated at the Salon, some do not.  They reproach him for humor and caricatures he adds in his paintings and that make them so special.

Biard creates quaint and everyday situations, often funny, as well as war situations and shipwrecks. Discover the paintings that marked the life of this traveling painter in this exceptional exhibition you really do not want to miss.

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From 5 November 2020 to 7 March 2021



    6, place des Vosges
    75004 Paris 4

    Official website

    Refine your search
    Refine your search
    Refine your search
    Refine your search