Philadelphia (ENG)

It is in Philadelphia, City of Brotherly Love
and capital of nineteenth-century American art,
that Léon Delachaux discovers
his vocation and starts a family.

Léon+Pauline+Clarence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self-portrait with Overcoat (detail). Black chalk, 30 x 30 cm. Private Collection.
Portrait of Pauline with a Hat (detail), 1894. Pastel on paper mounted on canvas, 56 x 47 cm. Private Collection.
Portrait of Clarence Delachaux (detail), 1887. Oil on canvas, 39.5 x 31.8 cm. Private Collection.
Photos: Stéphane Briolant

Known for its quality of life and as a center for the arts,
“Philly” is also home to the founding principals of a nation:
the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776)
and the Constitution of the United States (1787).

Timeline:
In 1875, in Philadelphia, Léon Delachaux marries Marie-Apolline Noël,
a French immigrant like himself, who gives birth to their only son, Clarence.

In 1876, Delachaux is recorded as a watchcase engraver.
The Philadelphia Centennial International Exhibition (World’s Fair)
takes place the same year.
It is here, at the age of 26, that he discovers painting.
He enrolls at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (P.A.F.A.).

A man, an artist is born.

From 1878 to 1880, Delachaux lives with his family in a studio
at 1934 Locust Street, a studio he shares with another P.A.F.A. student,
the Romanian sculptor Carol Stork.
It is here that he paints using models.

From 1879 to 1886, Delachaux studies at the P.A.F.A. under the controversial
Thomas Eakins, father of American Realism.

PAFA
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Delachaux exhibits in the United States from 1880 to 1915:
Louisville, KY; New York, NY; Boston, MA; Philadelphia, PA;
Indianapolis, IN; Pittsburg, PA; Saint Louis, MI.

At the P.A.F.A. in Philadelphia, Delachaux exhibits in both permanent
and special exhibitions.
Six of his works are exhibited together, thanks to Delachaux’s collector Harrison Earl,
who makes a long-term loan of his collection to the P.A.F.A.

unfortunate accident
The Unfortunate Accident, circa 1880. Oil on canvas, 36.8 x 21.6 cm. Private Collection.
Photo: Stéphane Briolant

In 1883, Delachaux and his family return to France,
thanks to his picture dealer who finances the voyage.
In return, the painter will send all his French pictures to Philadelphia.
This explains why so many works by Delachaux are now in the United States.

œuvres américaines
Summer (detail), 1881. Oil on canvas, 56 x 51 cm. Private Collection.
The Affectionate Mother (detail), 1883. Oil on canvas, 45.7 x 38.7 cm. Private Collection.
Gray Day at the Bridge in Grez (detail), 1885. Oil on canvas, 40.01 x 60.33 cm. Private Collection.
Photos: Stéphane Briolant

Delachaux’s nationality has caused some confusion among art historians.
With reason: he is born in France of a Swiss father,
becomes a naturalized American in 1883 and in 1907 recovers his French nationality
while retaining the inalienable rights to his Swiss nationality!

In 1900, Delachaux buys a beautiful home with an art studio in Saint-Amand-Montrond,
a small town in central France, where he spends the last twenty years of his life.
However, he continues to journey into the French countryside
as well as to Paris and Grez-sur-Loing where his son Clarence and his family live.

Léon Delachaux dies in 1919. He is buried at Grez-sur-Loing, alongside his spouse.

AVIS DE RECHERCHE

Afin d'enrichir le Fonds
et continuer à constituer
le catalogue raisonné
de l'artiste, nous sommes
à la recherche de toute
information concernant
la vie ou l'œuvre
de Léon Delachaux.
N'hésitez pas à nous contacter ; l'anonymat,
s'il est requis, sera respecté.