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Richard Barabandy (1848-after 1902)

Views: 5257 Added: 04/26/2011 Updated: 04/26/2011

Richard Barabandy, born Riccardo Barabandi in Milan, studied from 1864 to 1869 with Bartolomeo Giuliano at the Milan Academy of Fine Arts. He was appointed a professor of the Academy in 1879 and was active in the literary and artistic circles of the city, counting among his close friends the poet Gian Pietro Lucini, the writer Felice Cameroni, and the sculptor Medardo Rosso. By 1889, the year of the great Exposition Universelle that celebrated the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution and helped to establish Paris as the art capital of Europe, Barabandy was living in Paris. He changed his name from Barabandi and found work as an illustrator for several Parisian newspapers, including Triboulet, Soleil du dimanche, and l’Illustration.

 When Barabandy settled in Paris on the Boulevard de Clichy, he began to do drawings and watercolors of the street life that he observed around him in Monmartre. Artists started to settle in Monmartre early in the 19th century and it was there that Impressionism began in the 1860s. By the last decade of the century it was one of the liveliest neighborhoods of Paris. Cafés, bôites, brasseries, theaters and dance halls proliferated. Such establishments, of course, attracted a colorful and sometimes shady element. In part to counteract the area’s dubious reputation, Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur was being built there when Barabandy arrived in Paris. Dedicated in 1891, the great basilica certainly did not put and end to Monmartre’s night life, but it may have been a refuge for the nuns and priests who sometimes appear in Barabandy’s depictions of the quartier

 in the Café Wepler which still thrives at 14, Place de Clichy, and in other cafés that have since disappeared. A great variety of types found their way into his watercolors and drawings, from humble workmen in rags, to the elegantly dressed bourgeois; from elderly roués to charming children. Many of the drawings are dated which adds to their immediacy. There are young women with umbrellas, tradesmen, policemen, soldiers, people waiting for a tram, a woman selling flowers, musicians, washerwomen, rag-pickers…all the life of the quartier captured with great skill and an eye for what was lively or charming or poignant or amusing. The drawings, small in scale, present a miniature panorama of life in fin de siècle Monmartre.

 Barabandy called his drawings of street life Paris dans la rue (Paris in the street). In 1892 three lithographs made after original drawings from this series were exhibited in the 5th  Exposition Internationale de Blanc et Noir, an exhibition of graphic art held at Palais des Arts Libéraux in Paris.

 To see more works by Barabandy, please visit our web site:

Author:   Joel Fletcher & John Copenhaver
Phone: 540 371 7540
E-mail: Ask for Details

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A Man with a Bowler, Rear View, Pen & ink drawing
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A Man with a Cap and a Cape, Pen & ink, traces of pencil
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A Soldier with a Cape, Rear View, Watercolor, pen & ink, traces of pencil

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