Born Lyons, France 1809. Flandrin was a religious painter and portraitist, much influenced by the monumental decorative tradition of Italy. The leading muralist of his day, he painted the great wall frescoes in the church of St. Germain-des-Prés, Paris. His ‘Nude Male Seated’ shows his well designed, close study of the subject, yet the figure is distant. The use of colour is clear and simple, capturing this thoughtful young man. Considered a sincere and refined character, he was a very popular artist and a friend and pupil of Ingres. As the official portraitist to Napoleon III he was so in demand that he often had to refuse many hopeful sitters. It is said that a beautiful and wealthy woman offered him 80,000 francs to paint her portrait – but he refused. Died Rome 1864.