Alfred de Curzon (1820-1895)
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About Alfred de Curzon
Born in Moulinet, near Poitiers, in 1820, Alfred de Curzon entered Michel-Martin Drolling’s studio at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1840. Attracted by landscape painting, he and his studio-mate, the painter Louis-Georges Brillouin, took lessons from the landscape painter Louis Cabat, and forged new friendships with Jules Dupré and Théodore Rousseau.
On his first trip to Italy with his friend Brillouin, he left museums behind and set off to discover the Roman countryside. Through the intermediary of Mr Moor, a Frenchman of Irish origin, he made friends with some of the Academy’s boarders, notably Alexandre Cabanel and the Bénouville brothers.
On his return to Paris, his master, aware of his aptitude as a landscape painter, decided to enter him for the historical landscape prize in 1849. He tied for one of the two prizes and became a boarder at the Académie de France in Rome in 1850.
A tireless worker, he roamed the Roman countryside, travelled to Naples, and accumulated drawings, watercolours and painted studies. In March 1852, he left for Greece with the architect Charles Garnier. He was fascinated by the Acropolis, producing watercolours of great luminosity, and made several excursions to Sparta, Phigalia and Corinth in the company of Charles Garnier and Edmond About, who was then gathering material for his book La Grèce contemporaine.
On his return to Paris, his wife’s health declined, and he chose to leave the hustle and bustle of Paris and settle in Passy. Despite his remote existence, he sent paintings to the Salon every year, drawing inspiration from the portfolios of studies he had taken on his Italian trip.
At the 1857 and 1859 Salons, several paintings were acquired by the Musée du Luxembourg and the Emperor. A few trips, often prompted by his wife’s state of health, led him to paint on location at the waters of Luxeuil, Villers and Toulon, where he spent a winter in 1872.
After his death, his son Henri donated part of the studio’s collection to the city of Poitiers: 33 paintings, 21 painted sketches and 169 drawings.
Henri de Curzon, Alfred de Curzon, peintre (1820-1895), Sa vie et son œuvre, d’après ses souvenirs, lettres, ses contemporains
2 vol., Paris librairie Renouard, 1914
- 16 June – 20 September 1982, Poitiers, musée Sainte-Croix, Alfred de Curzon (1820-1895)
- 16 February – 10 May1998, Poitiers, musée Sainte-Croix, Alfred de Curzon (1820-1895) : les dessins
Focus on an artwork on the cover
Alfred de Curzon et Eugène Froment décorant la chapelle du séminaire à Autun 1855
(Alfred de Curzon and Eugène Froment decorating the seminary chapel in Autun 1855)
Watercolour over black pencil sketch
Henri de Curzon (1861-1942)
Alfred de Curzon (1888-1974)
Colette de Curzon (Née en 1928)
Henri de Curzon,
Alfred de Curzon, peintre (1820-1895), Sa vie et son œuvre, d’après ses souvenirs, lettres, ses contemporains,
2 vol., Paris librairie Renouard, 1914, catalogue n°1612
Clarendon Gallery Londres 1987
This motif is used in the painting Dominicains ornantant de peintures leur chapelle,
exhibited at the 1867 Salon and kept in Poitiers at the Palais de Justice (Inv. N°M.I.762)