Born in the outskirts of Paris in 1834, Léon Bonvin was the son of a
policeman and a seamstress. There were numerous siblings from multiple
marriages, and money was scarce. Léon's strongest bond was with his older
brother François. They shared a desire to draw and a precocious aesthetic
sensibility. Apprenticed to a printer in his adolescence, François would
give the younger Léon artistic advice for the remainder of his life.