The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Eugène Lejeune

Eugène Lejeune

A carte-de-visite portrait of the painter Eugène Lejeune (1818-1897).

Born at Beaumont-les-Autels on 14 December 1818, he was a pupil of Paul Delaroche and of de Gleyre. He exhibited at the Salon from 1845 onwards; his specialities were genre scenes, portraits, and animals. He died in Paris in April 1897.

Photographed by Camille Silvy of London.

This portrait of Eugène Lejeune does not appear in the Silvy daybooks, although three others do, taken on 21 July 1861. Of these, two show the painter in the process of painting a portrait of Silvy; in the first, he has just started the portrait, and in the second, the portrait, which shows Silvy at half-length against a plain, dark background, holding a pair of white gloves, is almost finished.

The painted flat in this photograph, which depicts a ship’s deck, appears rarely in the Silvy daybooks, less than fifteen times, and with only one exception, the sitter is always a naval officer or naval cadet. It is unclear why Silvy should have used this particular backdrop for a portrait of a painter.


Code: 123852
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