Denis Auguste Marie Raffet - Encyclopedia


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DENIS AUGUSTE MARIE RAFFET (1804-1860), French illustrator and lithographer, was born in Paris in 1804. At an early age he was apprenticed to a wood turner, but took up the study of art at evening classes. He became acquainted with Cabanel, who made him apply his skill to the decoration of china, and with Rudor, from whom he received instruction in lithography, in the practice of which he was to rise to fame. He then entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, but returned definitely to lithography in 1830, when he produced on stone his famous designs of "Lutzen," "Waterloo," "Le bal," "La revue" and "Les adieux de la garnison," by which his reputation became immediately established. Raffet's chief works were his lithographs of the Napoleonic campaigns, from Egypt to Waterloo, vigorous designs that are inspired by ardent patriotic enthusiasm. As an illustrator his activity was prodigious, the list of works illustrated by his crayon amounting to about forty-five, among which are Beranger's poems, the . History of the Revolution by Thiers, the History of Napoleon by de Norvins, the great Walter Scott by Defauconpret, the French Plutarch and Frederic Berat's Songs. He went to Rome in 1849, was present at the siege of Rome, which he made the subject of some lithographs, and followed the Italian campaign of 1859, of which he left a record in his Episodes de la ca.mpagne d'Italie de 1859. His portraits in pencil and water-colour are full of character. He died at Genoa in 1860. In 1893 a monument by Fremiet was unveiled in the Jardin de l'Infante at the Louvre, Paris.

See Raffet, by F. Lhomme (Paris, 1892).

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