A finely painted genre scene depicting a soldier collecting his daughter from school at the Villa Du Connétable in Ecouen. The soldier, wearing his order of the légion d'honneur , walks with his daughter past a boy with dogs as other parents and school children follow behind. The ‘Villa Du Connétable’ or The Constable’s Villa was the local name for the historic Château d'Écouen. Dargelas lived at Ecouen so would have known the building and area well. Originally a fortress inherited by Anne de Montmorency, the Grand Constable and Commander of the French Army, it was rebuilt by him as a much grander property in 1539. It remained in the Montmorency family until 1632 when it passed to the Bourbon-Conde family. Like many estates owned by the aristocracy, it was confiscated by the state during the French Revolution. In 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte gave it to the Legion d’Honneur and it became a school for the daughters of the chevaliers of the order. Although it was returned to the Conde family after the restoration of Louis XVII, it was re-established as a school for the Legion d’Honneur in 1850 by Napoleon II. In 1862, the château was declared a Monument historique. It remained as a school until 1962 and in 1969 become the home of the collection of Renaissance art of the Cluny Museum. It opened as the French National Museum of the Renaissance in 1977.
Andre-Henri Dargelas was a genre painter born in Bordeaux, France on 11 October, 1828 to Jean Baptiste Dargelas and Jeanne Virginie Mimandre. In 1854, he left his home to study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris where he became a pupil of François Edouard Picot (1786-1868).
He lived at 49, Rue d’Hauteville, from where he made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1857. He continued to exhibit at the Salon over the years, receiving a number of medals and honourable mentions. At some point during the early 1860’s, Dargelas moved to Sarcelles, a commune in Northern Paris. By this time, he had begun specialising in paintings of children in a naturalistic style at play. Many of his paintings featured school children, with some set outside against architectural backdrops, such as this fine example. His paintings proved highly popular with collectors in Paris as well as in London and New York.
On 10 February 1866, he married Catherine Etienne Gabrielle Duverger. His wife was the daughter of the artist Théophile Emmanuel Duverger (1821-1898) who was also from Bordeaux but had settled in the artistic community at Ecouen, located 18km north of Paris. After his marriage, the couple relocated to Ecouen where they lived at 9, Rue de la Beauvette. Some sources suggest he may have been Duverger’s pupil or perhaps worked closely with him at some point as their subject matter bears some resemblance. His work also shows influence from Pierre Édouard Frère (1819-1886) leader of the “sympathetic art” movement who lived in the commune.
Dargelas died at Ecouen on 18 June, 1906. Examples of his work can be found at the Atkinson Art Gallery and Bantock House.
|Presentation||The painting is housed in a new, English made gilt frame which is in excellent condition. The reverse bears a stock label for the Alexander Gallery who were based in Clifton, Bristol. The stock number dates the label from the mid to late 1980’s.|
|Condition||As with all of our original antique oil paintings, this work is offered in ready to hang gallery condition, having been professionally cleaned, restored and revarnished.|
|Image Size||21.75 inches x 17.5 inches (55.5cm x 44.5cm)|
|Framed Size||28.5 inches x 24.25 inches (72.5cm x 61.5cm)|