British painter, etcher, and sculptor, now remembered chiefly for his graphics
on macabre and fantastic themes. An excellent draftsman, he taught in London,
revitalizing British drawing and printmaking during a period of low ebb.
a penurious youth, when he studied under Lecoq de Boisbaudran, he had some
considerable success at the Salon, and several of his works were bought by the
state. In 1863, however, he participated in the Salon des Refusйs, partly under
the influence of his friend Whistler. He came to London in the same year and
taught first at the South Kensington School of Fine Art and then at the Slade,
where he exerted a great influence on those artists who were to become the
nucleus of the New English Art Club. Although he could in no way be thought of
as an Impressionist, on the invitation of Degas he participated in the second
Impressionist exhibition and was an invaluable contact between Paris and London
in the dissemination of Impressionist ideas. Pissarro was very dubious about
his teaching methods, especially when Lucien, his son, was working under him.
Legros' own paintings were rather sentimental genre scenes (The Angelus,
1859; Musйe d'Orsay).
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