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(b Bordeaux, 20 Apr. 1840; d Paris, 6 July 1916). French painter, draughtsman, and printmaker, one of the outstanding figures of Symbolism. He led a retiring life, first in his native Bordeaux, then from 1870 in Paris, and until he was in his fifties he worked almost exclusively in black and white—in charcoal drawings and lithographs. In these he developed a highly distinctive repertoire of weird subjects—strange amoeboid creatures, insects, and plants with human heads and so on, influenced by the writings of Edgar Allen Poe.

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)