Jehan-Georges Vibert was famous as a painter, a writer, and a man who loved life. The painter entertained everyone who was anyone in Paris with “fantastic entertainments” in his home and studio. Vibert afforded this gracious living through the success of his art, which was popular in both France and with American collectors.
Vibert was born into the Paris art world. Vibert studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts from 1856-1862. He showed his first paintings at the Paris Salon in 1863.
Vibert began his career painting mythological and historical scenes but soon switched to scenes of everyday life, or genre paintings, which brought him critical and popular success. His specialty was satirical paintings of clerics, especially of cardinals.
Scenes of cardinals with pretty young women, and of clerics enjoying a fine meal and a roaring fire, made gentle fun of the Catholic Church at a time when anti-clericalism in France was the order of the day.