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Cornelius Ary Renan(1857-1900) was a French Symbolist painter and anti-clerical social activist. Renan was the son of the Breton scholar Ernest Renan, who pioneered modern secular study of the life of Jesus. His mother was the daughter of painter Hendrik Scheffer and the niece of painter Ary Scheffer, after whom he was named. Renan followed his grandfather and great-uncle into a career as an artist, becoming associated with the Symbolist movement. He studied with Elie Delaunay and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (a one time student of his grandfather). He also became a close friend of Gustave Moreau. Suffering from a physical disability, Ary Renan nevertheless travelled widely, to Asia and Algeria. He also spent a lot of time in Brittany. He exhibited work from 1880. His works are influenced by his travels and by Symbolist poetry. The Musée de la Vie Romantique in Paris holds a significant number of his works.

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