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Félix Ziem

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Félix Ziem was a French artist of the Barbizon school whose genre and landscape scenes drew from his many travels and his particular love of Venice. Félix Ziem was born on February 25, 1821, and first aspired to be an architect, studying at the École des Beaux-Arts in Dijon beginning in 1837. In 1839, he moved to Marseilles, where he was informally instructed in painting by Adolphe Monticelli. In 1841, he visited Italy, and it was there that his love of painting fully came into itself, causing Félix Ziem to decide to pursue it full-time.. In 1849, Félix Ziem moved to Paris and began exhibiting at the Salon. He also forged friendships with other artists, including Millet and Rousseau. Félix Ziem soon began to make frequent trips to Barbizon to paint. In 1857, he was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, where he would later rise to the title of Officer. That same year, Félix Ziem traveled to the Ottoman Empire and Egypt and, following the expedition, began to regularly paint Orientalist themes. Orientalism as a movement was the western depiction of the peoples and cultures of the Middle East and Asia. Félix Ziem was incredibly financially and commercially successful. Beyond international exhibitions and winning numerous awards, he also assisted less fortunate artists and started several charities. His legacy was felt not only in his work, therefore, but also in his philanthropic endeavors.

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