Hippolyte-Camille Delpy (1842-1910)

Hippolyte-Camille Delpy (1842-1910)

Seth Morton Vose, the second generation owner of Vose Galleries, was greatly impressed with the new artistic style emerging from Barbizon, France, during the 1850s. He began importing Barbizon School paintings for his gallery, and amassed over 200 works by 1880. Among them were paintings by Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, Charles F. Daubigny, Diaz de al Pena and Hippolyte Delpy; artists whose names have become synonymous with this school. 

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Hippolyte Camille Delpy was fortunate to be raised in a household where the great Barbizon painter Charles-Francois Daubigny (1817 – 1878) was a frequent visitor.  A close friend of the Delpy family, Daubigny took the young Hippolyte under his wing and cultivated his love of painting; Delpy became Daubigny’s student and long remained under his artistic influence. Daubigny would later introduce his protégée to Jean Baptist Corot (1796 – 1875), a leading figure of the early Barbizon School, and a second influence on the artist’s style. In defiance of academic standards which stressed historical scenes, themes from mythology and portrait painting, the Barbizon painters took their canvases outdoors, en plein air, and painted directly from nature.

Delpy made his debut at the Paris Salon of 1869, and won many awards and medals over a long and distinguished career. He was elected to full membership of the Societé des Artistes Française in 1886, and exhibited at the prestigious Exposition Universelle of 1900. Although he remained faithful to the techniques of Daubigny and Corot throughout his career, a meeting with Cezanne brought a more vigorous touch and a greater intensity of color to his work. Today, Delpy is considered the most eminent of the second-generation Barbizon painters, and his work is held in many French museums.

References: Barbizon Returns to Vose: The Origins of Modern Painting, Vose Galleries of Boston exhibition catalog, Oct. 2 – Dec. 31, 1993; Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Gravures, Vol. III.

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