Henri Fantin-Latour was born in the town of Grenoble (France) on January 14, 1836. His father, Théodore Fantin-Latour, was an art teacher and a portrait painter. When Henri was 5 years old, the family moved to Paris. Henri enrolled in the famous Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Starting from 1853, Fantin-Latour found his inspiration in copying the works exposed in the Louvre.
Henri Fantin-Latour became friends with several great artists, such as Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet and Berthe Morisot. In 1858, together with James Abbott Whistler and Alphonse Legros, he formed the Société des Trois. Whistler invited Fantin-Latour to England.
Meanwhile in Paris it was still difficult for any Impressionist to get recognition. Fantin-Latour took part in a few exhibitions at the Salon des Refusés, but he never acknowledged Impressionist theories.
In 1876, Henri Fantin-Latour married fellow painter Victoria Dubourg, after which he spent his summers on the country estate of his wife's family. In 1879 Henri Fantin-Latour was awarded the Legion d’Honneur medal by the French government. He died on August 25, 1904 in his mansion in Buré. He was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris, France.