Ferdinand Roybet was a portrait and figure painter. Although he studied engraving at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, he devoted himself very early exclusively to painting. Studying the works of Rembrandt and Hals, he devoted a great deal of attention to the detail and costumes of his subjects. In 1864, he settled in Paris, where his lyrical, zestful canvases were quickly met with success. Critics lauded his strong colors and firm brushwork. Theodule Ribot and Antoine Vollon influenced Roybet, and in his simple handling of his subjects and the unidealized faces of his models he is similar to the Realist painters. Some of his works also testify to his admiration for Delacroix.
Roybet was a regular exhibitor in the Paris Salons, debuting in 1865 at the Salon des Champs-Elysées with two small watercolors. In the Salon of 1866, he exhibited "Unfoursous Henri III" which was purchased by Princess Mathilde. By the early 1890's Roybet had a solid career as a painter, winning such prestigious awards as the Médaille d'honneur at the Exposition Universelles d'Anvers in 1894 and was appointed Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur in 1893.
Museums and Public Collections
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York