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 Emile Charles Labbe  (1820 - 1885)

About: Emile Charles Labbe


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Lived/Active: France/Algeria      Known for: landscape, portrait, botanical painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Emile Labbe
1820 (Mussy-sur-Seine, France )
1885 (Algiers, Algeria)


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landscape, portrait, botanical painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Émile Charles Labbé was born in 1820 in Mussy-sur-Seine, France and died in 1885 in Algiers, Algeria.  Labbé was a disciple of Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps and became a landscape painter.  He exhibited at the Salons of 1836 and 1876.  During the 1840’s Labbé developed himself as a painter of oriental subjects.  He traveled extensively in the Middle East and North Africa and received a commission to decorate the palace of the Sultan in Constantinople, Turkey.  In 1876 he settled in Algiers.  From 1881 until his death Labbé was the first director of the École des Beaux Arts of Algiers.

Labbé was a distinguished painter.  The depiction of Algerian sites and scenes became his speciality.  He also was a portrait painter.  His water-colors stimulated his friend Eugène Fromentin to travel with him to Blidah, Algeria to attend the wedding of a Labbé’s sister (March-April 1846).  During this trip they were accompanied by the painter Armand Du Mesnil.  During a second trip to this region Labbé and Du Mesnil were accompanied by the archeological draughtsman Auguste Salzmann, whose photographs of Oriental subject became famous (Sept. 1847-May 1848).  Labbé was also one of the pioneer art collectors of Algeria.  A part of his collection was legated by his daughter to the Musée National des Beaux-Arts of Algiers (among which: Les Chrysanthèmes, Portrait de Mademoiselle Elina Labbé en bourguignonne, Etude pour le portrait du peintre Armand Guillaumin).

Cazenave, Elisabeth, Les artistes de l'Algérie (Paris, 2001).
Elwood, Hartman, Three nineteenth century French writer-artists in the Maghreb: the literary and artistic depictions of North Africa by Theophile Gautier, Eugène Fromentin and Pierre Loti (Tübingen, 1994).
Julian, Philippe, The orientalists. European painters of eastern scenes (Oxford, 1977).
Vidal-Bué, Marion, Alger et ses peintres 1830-1962 (Paris, 2000).

Compiled and written by Rik Wassenaar, The Netherlands

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