Actor, portrait painter, landscape and genre artist, engraver and sculptor Jean Francois Raffaelli was open to many influences and techniques. Remarkably, he did not subscribe to any particular school, though he would show with the Impressionists in 1890 and 1891.
He began his professional life as an actor, but trained under the painter Jean-Leon Gerome and began exhibiting at the Paris Salons. He would work strictly as a painter until 1876, when he first tried his hand at printmaking, and would then work equally as a passionate etcher and printmaker.
His works were predominantly genre pieces until 1879, when he first began creating landscapes and urban scenes of Paris. Additionally, he created several portraits during this time as well, before returning to the familiar scenes of everyday life.
His initial work as an Impressionist used a far too subdued palette for the liking of his peers and he faced some turmoil over his submissions in their alternative Salon showings. His printmaking however was distinguished by its effective and impressive use of color.
Once he began enjoying success at the Salons however, he experienced further strain on his relationship with the Impressionists, Edgar Degas in particularl, and soon broke away from the group. His work would remain fundamentally Impressionist in its methods and stylings throughout the rest of his career, and he would continue to paint the familiar scenes and sights that his old colleagues also favored.
He would receive many awards and honors throughout his career, including the Legion of Honor in 1889, and membership in the Societe des Beaux Arts. His work is in major galleries around the world, including the cities of Oslo, Paris, and New York.