Rustic genre scene with Norman characters in conversation. The young woman wears the typical Calvados headdress. Oil on canvas, similar to others of the same theme found in a number of museums in France (including the Museum of Fine Arts in Bordeaux) and produced between 1833 and 1837 by the same artist. Possible an illegible signature in the lower right corner. An old label on the frame with a handwritten inscription indicates the artist’s name and that the work belonged to the collection of a certain Captain Duplessy.
Joseph Louis Hippolyte Bellangé, French artist. Born 17 January 1800, in Paris; died 10 April 1866, in Paris. He was a painter, watercolourist, draughtsman and lithographer. He mainly painted military subjects, battles and genre scenes.
He entered Baron Antoine-Jean Gros’ workshop at a very young age and there he became friends with Nicolas Toussaint Charlet, who had recently published his first lithographs. The young Bellangé followed his colleague’s lead and started producing plates of military costumes and illustrations of Old Guard veterans in Napoleon's armies. He made his début at the Paris Salon with military scenes and his work as an illustrator quickly became well-known, although his genre painting demonstrated greater verve and vivacity. He sought help from Adrien Dauzats in the rendering of architectural features in his battle scenes. He was awarded a second place medal in 1824 and, in 1834, the cross of the Légion d'Honneur. He was one of the first to be named curator of the military museum at Versailles. In 1836, he was appointed curator of Rouen Museum; from then on, he devoted his time almost entirely to painting. His reputation grew steadily throughout his life, and his final painting, La garde meurt, was a genuine triumph. It was shown posthumously to great acclaim at the 1867 Exposition Universelle, as were his illustrations Les deux amis (Sevastopol), 1855; Épisode de la Retraite de Russie, 1863; Épisode du retour de l’île d’Elbe, 1864. He was made an officer of the Légion d'Honneur in 1861. Bellangé's body of lithographic work comprises some 500 catalogue entries compiled by Jules Adeline in 1880.
Source: Benezit, Dictionary of Artists.
Artist: Hippolyte Bellangé (1800-1866).
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: Very good condition.
Dimensions: 27.5 x 37.5 cm. / 10 ¾ x 14 ¾ in.
Frame: 39 x 47 cm. / 15 ¼ x 18 ½ in. Original gild wood, repainted. Restoration period.