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The Academic painter Eugene Bidau was born in December 1839 in the French commune called La Roche-sur-Yon, in the region of Pays de la Loire. He was highly praised throughout his career for his still-life paintings, especially his floral paintings.
Bidau mainly depicted flowers and birds, but there are also religious paintings, genre scenes, as well as decorative designs for tapestry in his production. He began studying art under the French painters Baptiste-Joseph Lechat and Léon-Désiré Alexandre, a portrait artist. Being that the later would often exhibit in the Paris Salon, and in 1863 Bidau would show his work there for the first time. In 1872, the artist displayed the works L’hiver and Fleurs in Nantes and continued participating in French art shows with a positive response from the public.
Not only did the public enjoy Bidau’s work, but the critics praised him as well. The artist was immensely awarded during his career, including a gold medal in Angers during the year 1895. Other notable awards worth mentioning are Montpellier in 1868, a second class medal in Angers in 1877, and Nice in 1890, among others.
Famous for his decorative art, the painter was commissioned to paint the Hotel de Ville in Paris, as well as to create decorative panels for Rennes’ Palais de Justice in 1897. These panels were also woven as tapestries and exhibited in the 1900 Exposition Universelle. One of Bidau’s most notable works are A Peacock and Doves in a Garden, a spectacular portrayal of a perfect garden with full bunches of lilac flowers, a majestic peacock, and angelic white doves. Also worth noting is Elegant Still Life with Flowers, in which the painter creates a beautiful composition of diverse flowers, wicker baskets, a sun hat, an open birdcage, white doves, and a paradisiac background of clear water in the distance.
Eugene Bidau passed away in December of 1899, in Paris, where he spent most of his career. A year later, there was a retrospective exhibit in his honor in the Galerie Georges Petit. Mathurin Moreau created a bronze bust of Bidau that is now featured on his grave, at the Cimitière du Père Lachaise, Ile-de-France. The artist was good friends with Jean-Alexandre Coraboeuf, who painted a portrait of him and was often encouraged by Bidau to enroll at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts.