1823 - 1891
Théodule Augustin Ribot worked his way into the École des Arts et Métiers (School of Arts and Crafts) in Châlons. Upon the death of his father, he went to Paris and took up employment decorating blinds. He subsequently joined Glaize’s studio. After a three-year stay in Germany, he returned to Paris and made a living for some time copying paintings by Watteau for the USA. He made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1861 with four canvases entitled; Kitchen Interiors, which introduced him to the general public. He then took up painting historical and religious subjects as well as portraits, while never abandoning his little pictures of kitchen boys, which had made his reputation.
Ribot was one of the founders of the Champs de Mars Salon, having been one of the Refusés (a group of artists, whose works had been refused admission by the Paris Salon of 1859), along with Alphonse Legros, Fantin-Latour, Whistler and others, all of whom were united by a common admiration for Courbet and a disposition towards realism. After his debut at the Paris Salon in 1861, he received medals in 1864 and 1865, and a third class medal in 1878. In that same year, he was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur.
Ribot’s best works include Kitchen Interiors, which he exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1861; Woman Mending, at the Louvre; Martyrdom of St Sebastian, 1865, also at the Louvre. He is also known for around 30 original etchings. Although he was one of the young realist admirers of Courbet, Ribot did not opt for the open air method, but instead examined the psychological effects of accentuating light and dark and thus reconciled Courbet’s influence with his admiration for Velázquez. This dual influence marked his first period, just as he went on to influence the early works of other painters who can be compared to him, such as Legros, but also Carolus-Duran and James Tissot.
In 2002, he was included in the exhibition entitled ‘Men of Worth’: Henri Fantin-Latour, Odilon Redon and their Contemporaries (‘Hommes De Valeur’ : Henri Fantin-Latour, Odilon Redon En Tijdgenoten) at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, Holland.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Amiens (Mus. de Picardie): Joint of Meat (oil on canvas)
Amsterdam: Seamstress; Still-life
Besançon: Charcoal Oven
Bordeaux: Reading the Bible
Boston: Old Woman
Brest: Mme Le Goff Senior
Bucharest (Muz. National de Arta al României): Anchorite; Cutlet
Caen: The Oyster and the Claimants; Still-life
Cahors: Man with Candle (study)
Chicago: Music Lesson
Évreux: Geography Lesson
Geneva: Head of Young Peasant Girl
Grenoble: Old Woman
La Rochelle: Interior Scene
Lille: St Vincent
Lyons: Portrait of a Woman
Marseilles: Recipe; Cook at his Accounts
Nice: Torture of Alonso Cano
Paris (former Mus. du Luxembourg): Woman Mending; Samaritan; St Sebastian; Jesus and the Doctors; Portrait of the Artist
Paris (Mus. du Petit Palais): Little Girl in Grey; Portrait of a Man; Antique Dealer
Rheims: Family Claims; Young Cook; Kitchen Scene
Rouen: Torture of Alonso Cano
Stockholm: Compassionate Samaritan
Stuttgart: Compassionate Samaritan
Valencia: Boy Cook
Vienna (Österreichische Gal. Belvedere): Young Shepherd