Born in Marseille, Adolphe Monticelli traveled to Paris early on, where he visited the École des Beaux-Arts. In 1855 he meets the lively and generous painter Narcisse Diaz, who takes him to Barbizon. Together they paint in the woods of Fontainebleau. It is under the influence of Diaz's work that Monticelli will occasionally add nudes and elegantly dressed figures to his landscapes. He is also taught by Diaz. But in the 1970s he surpassed his teacher because of the expressiveness of his work and his daring painting technique. He constructs his images in many pasty brushstrokes placed on top of each other, throuth which shapes disappear into a feast of enchanting colors. His oeuvre includes 'fêtes galantes', portraits, flower still lifes and sun-drenched landscapes. In his paintings he anticipates Impressionism through his sense of light and color and his moving brushstrokes, and Symbolism through the expressiveness of what he paints. After his death his work gained many admirers, including Vincent and Theo van Gogh and Oscar Wilde.