The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography



A carte-de-visite portrait of the French artist Pierre-Antoine Labouchère (1807-1873).

The descendant of a Protestant family that emigrated from Holland, his devotion to the faith of his forefathers led him to dedicate a large part of his artistic output to the history of Protestantism, particularly the life of Luther.

The son of ship-owner, he was born at Nantes on 26 November 1807. Intended for a career in commerce and finance, at the age of twenty he was sent to work in an American bank and in 1832 he travelled to China aboard a ship belonging to his brother as the officer charged with defending the ship-owner’s interest. But painting had always been his passion and in 1836 he renounced his commercial career. In Rome he studied under Paul Delaroche, who remained a life-long friend.

Between 1843 and 1870 he exhibited almost every year at the Salon de Paris. Deeply imbued with the faith of his ancestors, his preference was for historical scenes depicting the Reformation. He received a third-class medal in 1843 for his canvas Le duc d’Aumale dans les bois d’oliviers (today in the Musée de Chantilly) and in 1846 a second-class medal for his tableau Luther, Melanchthon, Poméranus et Cruciger traduisant la Bible. He produced numerous depictions of Luther and illustrated J. H. Merle d’Aubigné’s La vie de Luther, published in 1862.

An active member of the Societé de l’Histoire du Protestantisme Française for whom he wrote many articles and to whom he bequeathed an important collection of books and autographs. The Society also received his tableau Jeanne d’Albret présantant son fils à l’armée protestante.

Labouchère died in Paris on 28 March 1873 and was buried in the cemetery of Père Lachaise.

Photographed by Disdéri of Paris.


Code: 124135
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