Alfred Philippe Roll  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Alfred Philippe Roll (1 March 1846, Paris – 27 October 1919, Paris) was a French painter. He is known for such paintings as Woman and Bull (1889).


Roll studied at Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where he was taught by the likes of Jean-Léon Gérôme, Henri-Joseph Harpignies, Charles-François Daubigny and Léon Bonnat. He painted his first landscape in 1869, and in 1870 exhibited "Environs of Baccarat" and "Evening" at Salon-de-Provence. During the Franco-Prussian war, he was a lieutenant of militia. His 1875 painting of "The Flood at Toulouse" attracted huge attention, and it is now in the Havre Museum. All of his early work was romantic style, but was influenced by other styles including Bolognese and Gustave Courbet. In 1877 he exhibited "Fete of Silenus" at Salon, which is now at the Ghent Museum. It was at this point Roll decided to devote his work to painting everyday life, and his style changed as well to a more realist one. He began to paint portraits, and with his 1880 painting "Miners' Strike", he became one of France's highest ranked painters of the day; he was extremely successful for the rest of his working life. He became the French government's official painter, and was commissioned to paint numerous art pieces, including those of murals, ceilings, and other building decoration. "President Carnot at Versailles at the Centenary of the Etats Generaux", now at Versailles Palace, and "The Tzar and President Faure laying the Foundation Stone of the Alexandre III. Bridge" are two such paintings, and "The Pleasures of Life" and "The Rosetime of Youth" were both for the Hotel de Ville. Many of his paintings are in public art galleries, including the Hotel de Ville museum, the Cognac Museum, Avignon Museum, Laval Museum, Fontainebleau Palace, Pau Museum, and the Museum of Geneva. In 1905 he became the president of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, which he co-founded. Jules Ernest Renoux was one of his pupils.

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