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Delaborde, Henri, vicomte

    Image Credit: Wikipedia

    Full Name: Delaborde, Henri, vicomte

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1811

    Date Died: 1899

    Place Born: Rennes, Brittany, France

    Place Died: Paris, Île-de-France, France

    Home Country/ies: France

    Subject Area(s): prints (visual works)

    Career(s): curators


    Curator, painter, and early authority on prints. Delaborde was a son of Henri-François Delaborde, a general in the French army who was honored in 1809 with the title comte de l’Empire (Count of the Empire). The young Delaborde attended high school at the Lycée Charlemagne and the Lycée Bourbon in Paris. After graduation he wanted to become an artist, but his parents decided that he study law. Soon after his enrollment, however, with the permission of his father, Delaborde entered the studio of the history painter Paul Delaroche, where he practiced painting between 1829 and 1834. He then traveled to Florence where he copied paintings of Fra Angelico as well as works of Masaccio and other painters of the Quattrocento. In 1839 he visited Ravenna and Venice and again for an extended stay in Italy from 1842 to 1845. He married in 1846. An acclaimed painter in France, his works were shown at the Paris Salon and he received official commissions for the execution of paintings for churches and other places. His career considerably changed around 1850, when due to poor health he had to give up painting. He instead became an art writer for Revue des deux mondes, in which periodical he published articles on the history of engraving. He also contributed to the Gazette des Beaux-Arts. In 1864 his collected articles were published as études sur les beaux-arts en France et en Italie. In 1855 his thirty-year career at the Print Room of the Paris Bibliothèque Nationale began, first as adjunct curator, rising to chief curator in 1858. He wrote entries for the Histoire des peintres de toutes les écoles, edited by Charles Blanc. In 1865 he edited the Lettres et pensées (letters and thoughts) of the portrait- and history painter Hippolyte Flandrin, who had died the year before. His Mélanges sur l’art contemporain appeared in 1866. In 1868 he became a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. From 1874 onwards, he served this institution as secrétaire perpétuel. A monograph on Ingres appeared in 1870 as Ingres, sa vie, ses travaux, sa doctrine, which he dedicated to the painter’s widow. In 1882 he wrote an essay on the origins, the techniques, and the history of engraving in Western Europe, La gravure: précis élémentaire de ses origines, de ses procédés et de son histoire. His later writings include a study on the Flemish engraver Gérard Edelinck (1886) and a major work on Marcantonio Raimondi: Marc-Antoine Raimondi: étude historique et critique suivie d’un catalogue raisonné des œuvres du maître (1888). Delaborde’s essay, La gravure, is a very informative introduction into the field, even though references to scholarly literature are lacking, while his Raimondi study offers a critical contribution to the research on this engraver.

    Selected Bibliography

    études sur les beaux-arts en France et en Italie. Paris: J. Renouard, 1864; Lettres et pensées d’Hippolyte Flandrin, accompagnées de notes et précédées d’une notice biographique et d’un catalogue du maître. Paris: H. Plon, 1865; Mélanges sur l’art contemporain. Paris: J. Renouard, 1866; Ingres, sa vie, ses travaux, sa doctrine, d’après les notes manuscrites et les lettres du maître. Paris: H. Plon, 1870; La gravure: précis élémentaire de ses origines, de ses procédés et de son histoire. Paris: A. Quantin, 1882; La gravure en Italie avant Marc-Antoine (1452-1505). Paris: Librairie de l’art, 1882; Marc-Antoine Raimondi: étude historique et critique suivie d’un catalogue raisonné des œuvres du maître. Paris: Librairie de l’Art, 1888.


    Larroumet, G. Notice historique sur la vie et les travaux de M. le comte H. Delaborde, 1900; Blumer, M.-L. “Delaborde (Henri), peintre et écrivain d’art.” Dictionnaire de Biographie Française 10 (1965): 598-599; [obituary:] Michel, é. Gazette des Beaux-Arts 2 (1899): 71-81.


    Contributors: Emily Crockett and Monique Daniels


    Emily Crockett and Monique Daniels. "Delaborde, Henri, vicomte." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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