American, 1858 - 1948
Signed F.C. Peyraud, lower left.
Frank Peyraud became one of the most notable Impressionist landscape artists active in Chicago during the early Twentieth Century. Originally born in Switzerland, Peyraud enrolled as an architecture student at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. In 1881, at age 22, he emigrated to Chicago where he spent the remainder of his illustrious career. Peyraud became best known for his large, tonal landscape paintings often executed in the early morning or twilight hours at dusk. He gained national acclaim for these atmospheric pictures through his many entries at the Annual Exhibitions of the leading museums around the country. In his lifetime, he exhibited over a hundred paintings at the Art institute of Chicago from 1891 to 1930.
Aside from his landscape painting, Peyraud was often commissioned as a cyclorama painter, which meant creating dynamic panoramic paintings in the round, the "forerunner of the wide-screen motion picture." (Richter). In 1891, he became involved in retouching Paul Phillipoteaux's panorama, The Battle of Gettysburg, when it came to Chicago for exhibition. He continued to work on panoramic and cycloramas spectacles including The Creation for the 1903 Louisiana Exposition. Spring Painted Desert in the Santa Fe Railroad Collection shows at least one trip West.
Peyraud also executed mural painting, several of them in Illinois, including a series of allegorical murals with fellow artist Hardesty Maratta in the Peoria Public Library. In 1906, he married Elizabeth Krysher, a portrait painter and illustrator.
Paintings by Frank Peyraud have been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; the National Academy of Design, New York; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Pan-Pacific Exposition, San Francisco and at numerous other exhibitions.
Today Frank Peyraud’s paintings are in the collections of such institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago; the Union League Club of Chicago; the Peoria Public Library (fresco), Peoria; the Municipal Art Collection of Phoenix, and at the Art Museum of Bulle, Switzerland among others.