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Stephen Deuchar

(b Geneva, March 24, 1767; d London, Dec 27, 1849).

English painter of Swiss birth. Born into a wealthy and politically influential Huguenot family, Agasse spent his early childhood at the country estate of Crévin, where he may have developed the interest in animals and natural history that was to guide his later career as an artist in England. Agasse trained first at the Ecole du Colibri in Geneva and subsequently in Paris under Jacques-Louis David (beginning in 1787) and possibly under Horace Vernet. His early artistic output consisted chiefly of unpretentious silhouette ‘cut-outs’ in the style of Jean-Daniel Huber. At this time he also undertook a serious study of dissection and veterinary science.

Agasse first visited England in his early 20s, at the invitation of the Hon. George Pitt, 1st Baron Rivers (?1722–1803), whom he had met in either Geneva or Paris c. 1790. He stayed briefly at Rivers’s home, Stratfield Saye, Hants, before returning to Europe for another decade, then emigrated permanently to England in ...


Marie-Claude Chaudonneret

(b Paris, March 24, 1775; d Paris, May 15, 1835).

French painter . After studying in Jacques-Louis David’s studio, at the age of 18 Auzou exhibited a Bacchante and a Study of a Head in the Salon of 1793. She exhibited regularly at the Salon until 1817. She was awarded a Prix d’Encouragement for Departure for a Duel in 1806 and a medal for Agnès de Méranie (untraced) in 1808. In 1810 Vivant Denon drew the Emperor Napoleon’s attention to the ‘genre anecdotique’, which he maintained was unique to the French school. Denon cited Auzou as well as Pierre-Nolasque Bergeret, Jean-Antoine Laurent, Fleury-François Richard and Adolphe-Eugène-Gabriel Roehn (1780–1867) among the practitioners of this distinctive genre.

Auzou’s oeuvre consists of portraits (e.g. Portrait of a Musician; Manchester, NH, Currier Gal. A.) and genre scenes, a great many of which still belong to the artist’s descendants. In the early genre scenes she took her inspiration from history and Greek mythology or used playfully erotic subjects in the style of Louis-Philibert Debucourt. Later she sought inspiration in the history of the French kings (e.g. ...


Nathalie Volle

(b Laon, March 5, 1743; d Paris, March 1, 1811).

French painter and draughtsman. In 1764 he entered the studio of Noël Hallé, whose work strongly influenced his early paintings. Alexander Cutting the Gordian Knot (Paris, Ecole N. Sup. B.-A.), with which he won the Prix de Rome in 1767, is a brilliant exercise in the grand academic style as conceived by the followers of François Boucher. After a period at the Ecole Royale des Elèves Protégés he completed his training at the Académie de France in Rome from 1771 to 1774. Although he impressed the then director of the Académie, Charles-Joseph Natoire, and formed friendships with the painters François-Guillaume Ménageot, François-André Vincent and Joseph-Benoît Suvée and the architects Pierre-Adrien Pâris and Jean-Jacques-Marie Huvé (1742–1808), his artistic activity during his years in Rome is obscure. A number of spectacular drawings in red chalk, such as those of the Villa d’Este, Tivoli (Orléans, Mus. B.-A.) and the Villa Colonna and Villa Negroni...


David Bindman

(b London, Nov 28, 1757; d London, Aug 12, 1827).

English printmaker, painter and poet. His reputation as a visual artist increased during the 20th century to the extent that his art is as well known as his poetry (see fig.). Yet in his own mind Blake never completely separated the two, and his most original work is to be found in hand-printed books of prophecy, which developed a personal mythology of limitless intellectual ambition. In these books, text and design are completely integrated in what he called ‘illuminated’ printing. He also made many pen and watercolour drawings, prints in various media and a small number of tempera paintings, but even in these his broader aims were primarily theological and philosophical: he saw the arts in all their forms as offering insights into the metaphysical world and therefore potentially redemptive of a humanity he believed to have fallen into materialism and doubt.


Dominique Vautier


(b Lierre, June 10, 1778; d Brussels, March 3, 1859).

Belgian painter. The son of a manufacturer, he studied under Pierre Denis at Lierre, then the sculptor Walter Pompe at Antwerp and finally Andries Cornelis Lens at Brussels, between 1795 and 1800. The suave Neo-classicism of Lens had a decisive influence on Cels’s first drawings and such paintings as Hercules Putting on the Tunic of Nemea (ex-art market, Brussels, 1985; see 1985–6 exh. cat., pl. IX). In 1800 Cels continued his training in Paris with Joseph-Benoît Suvée and entered the Prix de Rome but decided against competing in the final stage.

In 1801 Cels visited Italy and stayed there for seven years, financed by his parents. In Rome he painted Cincinnatus, Dictator of Rome (untraced), which took the Grand Prix at the Salon in Ghent in 1802. During his long stay Cels made many drawings, both copies from the Antique and studies of his own (mostly in Brussels, Bib. Royale Albert 1er, Cab. Est., S.V. 65.111–65.275). In ...


Michael Rosenthal

(b East Bergholt, Suffolk, June 11, 1776; d Hampstead, March 31, 1837).

English painter and draughtsman. His range and aspirations were less extensive than those of his contemporary J. M. W. Turner, but these two artists have traditionally been linked as the giants of early 19th-century British landscape painting and isolated from the many other artists practising landscape at a time when it was unprecedentedly popular. Constable has often been defined as the great ‘naturalist’ and deliberately presented himself thus in his correspondence, although his stylistic variety indicates an instability in his perception of what constituted ‘nature’. He has also been characterized as having painted only the places he knew intimately, which other artists tended to pass by. While the exclusivity of Constable’s approach is indisputable, his concern with local scenery was not unique, being shared by the contemporary Norwich artists. By beginning to sketch in oil from nature seriously in 1808, he also conformed with the practice of artists such as Thomas Christopher Hofland (...


Albert Boime

(b Senlis, Dec 21, 1815; d Villiers-le-Bel, March 3, 1879).

French painter and teacher. A student of Antoine-Jean Gros in 1830–38 and Paul Delaroche in 1838–9, he demonstrated precocious ability in drawing and was expected to win the Prix de Rome. He tried at least six times between 1834 and 1839, but achieved only second prize in 1837 (entry untraced). Disgusted with the politics of the academic system, Couture withdrew and took an independent path. He later attacked the stultified curriculum of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and discouraged his own students from entering this institution. He first attained public notoriety at the Paris Salon with Young Venetians after an Orgy (1840; Montrouge, priv. col., see Boime, p. 85), the Prodigal Son (1841; Le Havre, Mus. B.-A.) and the Love of Gold (1844; Toulouse, Mus. Augustins). These early canvases are treated in a moralizing and anecdotal mode; the forms and compositional structures, like the debauched and corrupt protagonists, are sluggish and dull. Yet what made his work seem fresh to the Salon audience was his use of bright colour and surface texture derived from such painters as Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps and Eugène Delacroix, while his literary bent and methodical drawing demonstrated his mastery of academic tradition. The critics Théophile Gautier and Paul Mantz (...


Simon Lee

(b Brussels, ?1752; d Batignolles, Paris, Jan 24, 1829).

French painter. He went to Paris at the age of 12 after the death of his father, who had been in Brussels as an officer in the service of the Emperor of Austria. Having spent eight years studying history painting with Gabriel Briard (1729–77), he entered the Prix de Rome in 1772 and 1774 but failed to win. Thereafter he concentrated on landscape and genre painting, in which he was greatly influenced by such 17th-century Dutch masters as Aelbert Cuyp, the van Ostade brothers, Adriaen van de Velde and Karel Dujardin, all artists enjoying a tremendous vogue and high prices in Paris at that time. Demarne was made an associate (agréé) of the Académie Royale in 1783 but did not become a full member. He seems to have cared little for official honours and later, in 1815, was unwilling to seek membership of the Institut de France. He was, however, awarded the Légion d’honneur at the Salon of ...


Marie-Claude Chaudonneret

(b Versailles, July 14, 1775; d Paris, March 3, 1847).

French painter. Around 1795 he entered the studio of Jacques-Louis David, where he was a member of the group of artists from southern France known as the ‘parti aristocratique’ (Pierre Révoil, Fleury Richard, Comte Auguste de Forbin and François-Marius Granet), who were among the first to paint small-scale pictures of French history. Ducis remained a friend of Granet throughout his life (e.g. Portrait of Mme Granet, Aix-en-Provence, Mus. Granet). He exhibited regularly in the Salon between 1804 and 1838, winning a medal for history painting in 1808. He rapidly acquired a considerable reputation with scenes of sentimental mythology such as Orpheus and Eurydice (exh. Salon 1808; untraced), in part due to his links with the poet Jean-François Ducis (his uncle) and with his brother-in-law, the actor François Joseph Talma. (He exhibited Talma’s Débuts (Paris, Mus. Comédie-Française) at the Salon of 1831.) Josephine and her daughter Hortense were among his patrons; at Malmaison the Empress owned four portraits by Ducis of children, probably the two youngest sons of Hortense and the elder daughters of her son, Eugène Beauharnais (untraced). For ...


Jens Christian Jensen

(b Greifswald, Sept 5, 1774; d Dresden, May 7, 1840).

German painter, draughtsman, and printmaker. Along with Phillip Otto Runge, he was the leading artist of the German Romantic movement, notable especially for his symbolic and atmospheric treatment of landscape (see fig.).

After receiving a general education with a private tutor, Friedrich studied drawing and etching from 1790 to 1794 with Johann Gottfried Quistorp (1755–1835), drawing teacher at the university in Greifswald. From 1794 until 1798 he studied at the Akademi for de Skønne Kunster in Copenhagen, where his most important teachers were Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard, Jens Juel, Christian August Lorentzen (1749–1828), and Johannes Wiedewelt (1759–1802). The influence of Danish painting, especially that of Juel and Abildgaard, was strong and is evident even in his later years; Juel’s landscapes were notable for their clarity of composition and Abildgaard encouraged Friedrich’s enthusiasm for the mythology and history of the Scandinavian and Germanic peoples. Friedrich swiftly developed a confident and disciplined manner, as seen in the pen-and-wash drawing ...