(b Reims, 23 Oct 1852; d Paris, 11 July 1931). French painter, printmaker and illustrator. Around 1860 he moved with his family to Paris, where he was taught by Jacquesson de la Chevreuse (1839–1903), Jean Baptiste Carpeaux and André Gill.
He participated in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71) and was a friend of the poets Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud; the latter is the presumed subject of a portrait (1874; priv. col., see 1982 exh. cat., no. 1) that may have influenced Manet’s late portrait of Mallarmé (1876; Paris, Louvre).
first met Manet through his friendship with Degas in the early
1870s at the salon of Nina de Callias. He continued to associate
with Manet, meeting the group of young Impressionists at the
Café Guerbois and the Café de la Nouvelle Athènes.
In 1878 Forain painted a small gouache, Café Scene (New
York, Brooklyn Mus.), which probably influenced Manet’s
Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1881–2; London, Courtauld