Detail from Musique (Music) by Louis Eugène Pirodon, after a painting by Emmanuel Noterman or Zacharias Noterman, 19th century. Dayton C. Miller Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.
after a painting possibly by Emmanuel Noterman, portrait, genre and animal painter and etcher, 1808-1863, or by Zacharias Noterman, genre and animal painter and etcher, 1813-1874
This humorous scene represents the interior of a room in which two monkeys play a violin and a bassoon, while a dog barks in accompaniment. The room is in disarray, with scattered books on the carpet, and a stool with spectacles and an inkwell are in the right background. A trumpet lies on a table at the upper left. The monkey in the foreground wears a belt with a broken chain; the violin he plays is broken, as is the bow, and he looks at a score turned upside down. It is not known which Noterman - Emmanuel (1808-1863) or Zacharias (1813-1874) - painted the original of this work, as both brothers were animal painters. It is said that Zacharias specialized in scenes with monkeys, while Emmanuel painted scenes of dogs. As monkeys and dogs figured in the paintings of both brothers, more research is needed to determine whether Emmanuel or Zacharias painted the original on which this lithograph by Pirodon was based.
About the Artists
Louis Eugène, or Eugène Louis, Pirodon, painter and lithographer, 1824-1908
Louis Eugène, or Eugène Louis, Pirodon was a French artist born in Grenoble. He was a painter of genre scenes, portraits, still lifes, and animals. He was also a lithographer. Pirodon studied with Louis-Godefroy Jadin (1805-1882), a friend of Alexander Dumas, who was a painter of animals and hunt scenes. Pirodon also studied with an artist named Hébert. Possibly this was Antoine-Auguste-Ernest Hébert (1817-1908), a history painter who also painted portraits and genre scenes. Hébert, too, was from Grenoble but he went to Paris to study law. He did indeed become a lawyer, but he also studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and won the Prix de Rome for a painting he had submitted to the Salon of 1839. Pirodon exhibited his work in the annual Salons from 1852 to 1908. He won honorable mention for his work in 1853, 1861, and 1863, a third class medal in 1855, a second class medal in 1894, and a silver medal in 1900 at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.
Emmanuel Noterman, portrait, genre and animal painter and etcher, 1808-1863, and Zacharias Noterman, genre and animal painter and etcher, 1813-1874
Emmanuel Noterman, sometimes spelled Notterman, was a Belgian artist who was born in Oudenarde in 1808 and who died in Antwerp in 1863. Emmanuel Noterman painted portraits, humorous genre scenes, and animals. He studied at the Académie de Gand (Ghent). Among the artists with whom he studied were: B. Durieux (life dates unknown); Jan Baptist Lodewyck Maes, called Maes-Canini (1794-1856), a portrait and history painter; and, Petrus Kremer (1801-1888), a genre and history painter. Emmanuel Noterman had a younger brother, Zacharias, or Zacharie, Noterman, whom he taught painting and etching. Both specialized in animal paintings - Emmanuel painted dogs, while Zacharie painted monkeys. The monkeys of Zacharias were usually depicted in the guise of human activities - as lawyers, as teachers of music or school lessons, as musicans, card players, and so forth.
- See an example of an etching by Zacharias Noterman, Les Plaideurs (The Litigants - two monkeys and a dog acting as lawyers), Zacharias' biography and a brief history of Singeries, or monkey scenes, as a popular genre in nineteenth-century painting. [back to article]
- Except for the death date of 1908, this biographical information on Pirodon comes from Bénézit. His death date is given in an entry online for a lithograph by Pirodon in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (search for Pirodon). [back to article]
- For biographies of the Noterman brothers, see P. and V. Berko, Dictionary of Belgian Painters born between 1750 & 1875. Brussels: Laconti, 1981, pp. 494 (Emmanuel) and 495 (Zacharie). There is a biographical entry on Emmanuel Noterman in Bénézit, but Zacharias is not mentioned in Bénézit. Note that the life dates given here for Zacharias Noterman (Ghent, 1813-Paris, 1874), as well as the spelling of his first name, come from an entry on one of his etchings online. This online biography of Zacharias is credited to Greg and Connie Peters. The Berko Dictionary of Belgian Painters..., cited above, gives Zacharias' name as "Zacharie" and his life dates as 1820-1890. The life dates and brief biographical sketches of Maes-Canini and Kremer, with whom Emmanuel Noterman studied, come from Bénézit. [back to article]