Georges Jules Victor Clairin (11 September 1843, Paris – Pouldu, Clohars-Carnoët 2 September 1919) was a French Oriental painter and illustrator. He was influenced by oriental painting and Moorish architecture, and visited North Africa many times, in particular Morocco and Egypt. In Paris he led the life of a socialite, and befriended the glamorous actress Sarah Bernhardt, his friend for 50 years, and is today best known for his ‘in costume’ and informal intimate portratits of her.
Clairin was apprenticed in the workshops of Isidore Pils and François-Édouard Picot. In 1861 he entered the École des beaux-arts de Paris, and in 1866 first displayed his work. He travelled to Spain with Henri Regnault and to Italy with François Flameng and Jean-Léon Gérôme. He met the Catalan painter Marià Fortuny in Morocco and they visited Tétouan together. In 1895, he travelled to Egypt with the composer Camille Saint-Saëns.
He is best known for his portraits of Sarah Bernhardt, with whom he had a long friendship and whom he depicted in costume for a number of her roles. More on Georges Clairin
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