Jules Elie Dalaunay (Nantes 1828- Paris 1891)
Christ among the Doctors
Oil on canvas
32.5 x 41 cm
Preparatory sketch for the first essay of the Prix de Rome
Inscribed at the back ‘H. Flandrin’ au dos
Provenance: Hippolyte Flandrin Collection hence by descent
Bruno Foucart Collection
We thank Ms Isabelle Julia, specialist of the artist, for confirming the authenticity of the work we here present.
Jules-Elie Delaunay was born in Nantes en 1828. In 1845 he entered the studio of a local and renowned painter: Joachim Sotta (1810-1877). The following year Sotta introduced Delaunay to Hippolyte Flandrin during a trip to Paris. In 1847 Delaunay is admitted at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts thanks to Flandrin’s recommendation. He becomes a student of Flandrin and of his pupil Louis Lamothe. In 1849 he tries for the first time to obtain the Prix de Rome but fails,he will succed in 1856. In 1854 he presented a sketch at the first trial of the Prix, and he is recorded as a student of Flandrin. 78 sketches are presented that year, Delaunay is rated 9th. That allows him to pass on the final examination, for which the subject give to the students was Abraham washing the angels’ feet.
Whenever an artist didn’t get the first price, the young painters would take their works back and often give them to their teacher as a testimony of their improvement. That’s what Del aunay didi with the present sketch. This work was kept within Flandrin’s family until the work of Flandrin and his brothers was discovered during 1984 Parisian exhibition Bruno Foucart bought this very sketch from Marthe Flandrin, niece of Hippolyte.
Literature: Grunchec Ph., Les Concours des Prix de Rome 1797-1863, II, Paris, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, 8 octobre- 14 décembre 1986, pp. 209-210.