emile-Rene Menard (1861 - 1930) was a French painter born in Paris. From early childhood he was immersed in an artistic environment: Corot, Millet and the Barbizon painters frequented his family home, familiarizing him thus with both landscape and antique subjects.
Menard studied at the Academy Jullian from 1880 after having been a student of Baudry, Bouguereau, and Henri Lehmann. He participated in the Salon of the Secession in Munich, and the Salon de la Libre Esthetique in Brussels during 1897. Several personal exhibitions were also devoted to him at the Georges Small Gallery. In 1921 he exhibited in the Twelfth Salon along with Henri Martin and Edmond Aman-Jean. Galleries in Buffalo, New York and Boston, Massachusetts exposed Menard and his art to the United States. However, the numerous commissions that Menard received from the French government crowned his career; for example, the cycle for the Hautes Etudes e la Sorbonne, the Faculte de Droit, and the fresco Atoms for the Chemistry institute, and finally the Caise des Depôts in Marseilles.
Menard's art allies a rigorous, clear classicism with a diffuse and dreamlike brushwork. In 1894, Victor Shoe wrote of Menard in l' Art et la Vie (Art and Life): "visions of a pacified, bathed nature, of dawn and of twilight, where the soul seems to immerse itself in the innocence of daybreak, and breathe the divine anointment that comes with the dawn."