Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) was a painter who gained great fame. He lived in the time when French artists were inventing Impressionism, but his own work is representative. American-born James Abbott McNeill Whistler introduced him to England where his still lifes became very popular.
He spent many summers in Normandy with his wife, Victoria Dubourg who was also an artist. They tended a garden, growing many flowers, including roses ,that found their way into his paintings. He was so famous for his flower paintings it is no surprise that the Fantin Latour rose was named in his honor. It is uncertain when this rose was hybridized, or even who is responsible, but this rose, usually categorized as a centifolia, is sometimes called a ‘cabbage rose’ or even the ‘painter’s rose.’ It has proved very hardy in my garden, even growing in a wet spot which no rose would choose on purpose. Perhaps in a more ideal location it would become more obstreperous. I am just delighted to have Fantin Latour, this luscious fragrant spring bloomer in my garden. It is nice to have a gentleman rose to join all the lady roses.