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Francois Alfred Delobbe

 (1835 - 1915)
Francois Alfred Delobbe was active/lived in France.  Francois Delobbe is known for figure, genre paintings.

Francois Alfred Delobbe

Biography from Lawrence Cantor Fine Art

Alfred Delobbe was born in Paris in 1835.  In 1851, he entered the l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts and studied under Thomas Couture (1815-1879) and William Adolph Bouguereau (1825-1905), as well as at the Imperial School of Drawing.  In 1861, he  showed for the first time in the salon des artistes Francais, a portrait of his mother that drew much attention to his work.  Delobbe painted only what is considered fashionable for the time, which is very academic subjects completely in the artistic taste of the era, and did not stray far from these methods in his lifetime.  During the 1860s, he sent work to the Salon, with most of the subjects being mythological or similar scenes, in the purest form that he was trained as an academic painter.  His work brought a variety of rewards as well as honors of the state, notably for the decoration of the city hall in the fifteenth district in Paris.  He painted like his teacher W.A. Bouguereau in the purest classicism 'but as soon as he escapes from constraints of his Paris schooling, official commissions, and portraits, he returns to the countryside and becomes very sensitive to every day life, using the colors of the skies in Breton, to the simple and the little romantic attractions of the peasants that he observes with passion.'

Delobbe knew nothing of Brittany; it was only after meeting the artist, Alfred Guillou (1844-1926), in a Paris workshop, when Guillou took him home to the beautiful city of Concarneau, his native city.  Thus Delobbe discovered Brittany, which held a very important place for his life's work.  He did a magnificent portrait of Mélanie Guillou, the sister of Alfred Guillou, and after he finished the painting he was so inspired, that Concarneau always held a special place in his heart.

From the 1870s the female figure dominated his oeuvre.  Inserting women and children into his painting plane took over the importance and immediacy of his subject matter, mostly incorporating them in landscapes, pensive, or working, and always barefoot.  This body of work was presented to the Salon from the 1880 to1920.  The press wrote: 'Among our French provinces, Brittany has been preserved through the centuries, with its own language, customs, and its special face.  Also, painters and writers, who explore the local color, are driven to seize the moment, by the brush or the feather, all the different aspects.  Delobbes encounter, through the moors and hills of Breton, with its working peasants are the life blood of the area. Through hard work in their daily occupations, they will rediscover their religion or family lines, their traditional heritage of the richest effect. ..'

When Delobbe and his family would come to Brittany they would frequently stay at the Concarneau l' France Hotel, located near the train station, sharing their time with friends and fellow artists Charles-Henry Fromuth (1858-1937), Ernest Germain Vauthrin (b.1900) and Emil-Benediktoh Hirschfeld (1867-1922).  He often went looking for models in Beuzec and Lanriec; he would do many studies in plein-air, that he resumed in his parisian workshop in the winter.  As most of his studies were of the early beautiful days of spring and the beginning of summer, they were always reminiscent of the way of Brittany. 

He met Gauguin at a stay in Pont-Avon, but Gauguin had no influence on his work, since Delobbe would always remain true to the purest forms of academic painting.  One never will lack to associate the work of Delobbe to that of his main inspiration and teacher, William Bouguereau.  It is true that many of his works are similar to the master of Rochelle.  A very big part of Delobbes pictorial activity was devoted to the portraits where he excelled.  These were works of love which lead to solid friendships in the highest level of the cultured environments in and around Paris of the time.  All his sitters appreciated his talent and the spirit of his renderings. 
Museums: Musée de Brême: Baptéme à Venice Musée de Breslau: Filles de l'Océan Musée de Rochefort: Le retour des champs Musée de Bernay: Pyrame et Thisbé Liverpool Museum, London: Repos des faucheurs

Listed: E. Benezit, vol. III, page 474 Les Peintres De Concarneau, Henri Belbeoch. Page 116-119

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About  Francois Alfred Delobbe

Born:  1835 - Paris, France
Died:   1915 - Paris, France
Known for:  figure, genre paintings