Born: 1860 April 7 in Paris, France
Died: 1927 October 10 in Bièvres, Essone, France
Biography: Bigot was encouraged into the arts by his mother. At the age of twelve, he was accepted by the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he was trained by artists such as Jean-Léon Gérôme and Carolus-Duran. While in school, Bigot was introduced to Japonism and befriended a number of collectors of Japanese art. He was taught etching by Félix Buhot. He made illustrations for Japanese art specialist Louis Gonse's work, L'art japonais. He was also impressed with the Japanese pavilion at the Exposition Universelle (1878), all of which aroused in him a strong interest to move to Japan. In order to pay for the trip, he became an illustrator for newspapers, La Vie Moderne and Le Monde Parisien and sold illustrations for Émile Zola's novel Nana.
Bigot arrived in Yokohama in 1882. On arrival, he took lessons in the Japanese language and Japanese painting, and taught watercolor painting to students at the Imperial Japanese Army Academy. He also sold illustrations to Japanese newspapers, and issued an illustrated book, Croquis japonais. On the expiry of his government teaching job, he found employment as a French language teacher at a school run by the writer and liberal political philosopher Nakae Chōmin. He also traveled extensively around Japan. In 1887, Bigot published a satirical newspaper, Tobae, in which he illustrated mostly scenes of everyday Japanese life, but also ridiculed Japanese politicians and what he felt to be excesses of in the Westernization of Japan. The newspaper had to be published in Yokohama for fear of Japanese censors. He published several albums, La Journée d'une geisha à Tokyo (東京芸者の一日?), Les Aventures du capitaine Goudzougoudzou, Old England in China. During the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), Bigot traveled to Korea on special assignment from the English magazine London Graphic.
After his return to France, he worked for Imagerie d'Epinal, Le Chat Noir and other French magazines and newspapers. He also provided cartoons depicting the Second Boer War and the Russo-Japanese War.
Publication Title: Decameron (book) - Role: artist - Year: 1886