Known equally as a member of the Roycroft arts and crafts movement, an American Impressionist, an admirer of the Barbizon school and even part of the Brown County, Indiana art community, painter Alexis Jean Fournier is an enduring figure in American painting.
Born in 1865, Fournier would be primarily a self-taught artist, working as a sign painter and scenery artist by the young age of fourteen. By the age of sixteen he had all ready sold several landscape paintings. He began to study under Douglas Volk in 1886, and would later establish a studio in Minneapolis.
The admiration of local businessmen provided him with the opportunity to serve with an archeological exploration in the late 1890s. This trip to the desert southwest provided Fournier with the inspiration for his epic painting "The Cliff Dwellers" which measured a staggering fifty by twelve feet in size, and is now unknown in its whereabouts.
The businessmen also funded his studies in Paris, at the Academie Julian, where he was trained in the ways of the Impressionists and the Barbizon painters, and their "en plein air" techniques. Fournier would dedicate over twenty canvases to the painters of this school, naming the series "Homes and Haunts of the Barbizon Masters"; he painted portraits of the homes and favorite settings of the key members of the genre.
He is perhaps best known as a member of the Roycroft community of East Aurora, New York. He had a long association with the area, where he created some of his most recognized scenes and landscapes of the beautiful countryside, only hinting at human inhabitants through their gardens, homes and domestic stock.
During his life he had many major exhibitions, and his works are in both public and private collections.