Born Henri Jean Théodore Fantin-Latour in Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes, France, he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and although he was painting at the time of the Impressionists, he created his own unique realistic style. He would be best known for his flower paintings and group portraits of many of the contemporary Parisian artists and writers who were his friends. His work would strongly influence the future symbolist movement.
It was Whistler who brought attention to Fantin in England at a time when French Impressionist painting, or any painting having dealings with the impressionists, was being overlooked by the Parisian art community.
In addition to his paintings, Fantin-Latour created ingenious lithographs demonstrating the music of some of the great classical composers.
He was interred in the Cimetière de Montparnasse, Paris, France.
Today, one of his paintings can sell for as much as US$2.5 million.