Originally trained as a lawyer, 19th Century artist Jean Béraud turned his attention to painting after his studies were interrupted by the Franco-Prussian war.
He was born in St. Petersberg, his father a sculptor, and moved to Paris after his father’s death. After studying with well known portrait artist Léon Bonnat, Béraud painted scenes of life in the Parisian streets, cafes, bistros and theaters.
His style ranged from academically realist to not quite full-on impressionism, though he was at his best, in my eyes, when both influences were evident in the same canvas.
He also painted satirical impressions of Parisian life, including works in which biblical figures appeared in contemporary scenes.
It’s interesting to compare his Absinthe Drinkers (above, bottom) with Degas’s more famous painting of a similar subject.