Offered by Galerie de Lardemelle
19th century paintings & drawings
Alexandre Joseph de Steuben
(Paris, 1814 – Paris, 1862)
The bath at the fountain
Oil on canvas
Signed, located and dated
77 x 66cm
Exhibition: Paris Salon of 1845 under number 1547
Son of the French painter Charles Auguste, Baron de Steuben (1788-1856) and his pupil Eléonore Anne Trollé (1788-1869), Alexandre Joseph was born on June 22, 1814 in Paris.
Of course, first a pupil of his father, he then perfected his skills in the workshop of Ingres. He was able to exhibit his first painting at the Paris Salon from 1840 to 26 years old. He will then be awarded a third-class medal in history painting with his dedication entitled "Rubens" relating the discovery of the death of his mother by the Flemish painter. Here is an extract from the Journal des artistes of March 29, 1840 about the first presence of Alexandre de Steuben at the Salon: “M. Alexandre Steuben, the son of our great artist, wanted to enter the career by relying on the beautiful name of Rubens; he chose as the subject of his painting an episode in the life of the painter of Marie de Médicis; he represents him to us at the moment when, suspending the course of his travels, in which he learned to become a great colorist, he arrives in all haste at Antwerp to see his sick mother again; he arrives, he already crosses the threshold of the door…, but it is too late…, he only finds a coffin…, his mother is already dead! M. Steuben, in this composition, shows himself the worthy son of his father; its drawing is correct, its pantomime dramatic and its execution frank and neat; it is a very pretty picture, of which we will soon give an engraving”.
Alexandre Joseph will remain present at the Salon until 1845 only just five years of exhibitions, with our last shipment of our painting painted during his Roman trip in 1843.
Unfortunately, past our painting, we no longer know much about the life of Alexandre Joseph. Only a portrait of Edme Champion dated 1851 tells us about his artistic career. This may lead us to think that because of his now acquired fame, the shipments to the various Salons were no longer necessary for him and the painting of worldly portraits was most likely enough for him to live very comfortably from his art.
We find traces of his marriage to Charlotte Doyen (1818-1904) in Paris on February 3, 1858 and of his death in Paris almost five years later on December 6, 1862.
Museums: National Museums of the Palaces of Versailles and Trianon, Royal Museum Greenwich…
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