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Antoine Berjon was a French painter and designer, among the most important flower painters of 19th-century France. He worked in a variety of media including oil, pastel, watercolour, and ink. Berjon was born in St Pierre de Vaise, a commune of Lyon, to the son of a butcher, and he first studied drawing with the local sculptor Antoine-Michel Perrache. His early history is not clear: he may have studied medicine or a religious vocation, learning flower painting during his novitiate. He went to work as a designer of textiles in Lyon's important silk industry until its collapse with the French Revolution. In 1791, the Paris Salon accepted four of his works, including Still Life of Peaches and Grapes. He visited Paris often in the early 1790s and moved there in 1794, becoming a friend of Jean-Baptiste-Jean Augustin, a painter of miniatures, and of Claude-Jean-Baptiste Hoin, a portraitist. Living in Paris for 17 years, he exhibited at the Salon at least five times. By the time of his return to Lyon in 1810, his reputation had increased, and he became the professor of flower design at the newly established Ă‰cole des Beaux-Arts. His temperament probably put him in conflict with the school's administration; he was known for his stubbornness, and some contemporaries viewed him as egotistical, a characterization that remained throughout his life. He set up his own studio in Lyon, giving private instruction, and continued to make art for the last two decades of his life. He died in Lyon at 89.
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