Felix Ziem Biography1821-1911
French Barbizon School Painter
Born Felix-Francois Georges Philibert Ziem in Beaune in the Cote d'Or departement of the Burgundy region of France, his mother was a native of Burgundy who married a Croatian immigrant. Originally, Ziem planned to be an architect and studied at the School of Architecture in Dijon, and for a time worked as an architect. Painting developed from a hobby to a career following an 1841 visit to Italy where he fell in love with the city of Venice, a place that would become the source for many of his works. Apart from Venetian scenes, he also painted many still lifes, portraits and landscapes from a variety of places including Constantinople and his native Burgundy.
Ziem's works were first exhibited in 1849 at the Paris Salon and remained a regular exhibitor there for many years. Part of the Barbizon school, he also traveled extensively throughout Europe and in 1860 moved to Montmartre, the artistic quarter of the city of Paris. Financially successful, he was known to assist struggling young artists.
In 1857, the government of France recognized his contribution to the art world by making him a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
Felix Ziem died 1911 and was interred in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.