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 Leon Emile Caille  (1836 - 1907)

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Lived/Active: France      Known for: interior, genre paintings, peasant life

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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.

Leon Emile Caille, French 1836 – 1907

Leon Caille was well known for his small, simple works of peasant life and the strength of their appeal to human nature.  His interiors glow with the freshness and innocence of happy childhood and domestic life as they capture and characterize the intimacy and affection of the scene.

Born in Merville, France, he was initially a student in Aire-sur-la-Lys of Henri Magnard, a painter and decorator.  He spent two years in the academic school of Lille, France, under Souchon and Colas before being admitted, in 1856, to the prestigious Ecole-des-Beaux-Arts in Paris.  There his instructors were Leon Cogniet, a painter of historical subjects who was also an Officer in the Legion of Honor, and Edmond Castan, a genre specialist.  Caille began exhibiting at the annual Paris Salon in 1861, receiving medals in 1879 and 1882. 

Intimate friends with Puvis de Chavannes and Carolus Duran, Caille joined them in agitation against the academic Salon system.  This resulted, in 1890, in the establishment of a powerful rival, the Society of French Artists. 

Biography excerpted from the unpublished catalog by Edward P. Bentley for the Haussner Restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland, titled: Haussner’s, The Children.


Biography from Odon Wagner Gallery:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born in Merville in 1836, Caille was a student of Leon Cogniet and E. Castan. He eventually became a member of the Artistes Francais and began exhibiting in Paris in 1861 and in London, beginning in 1878.

Leon Caille was a genre painter who specialized in touching, sentimental scenes often depicting mothers and their children. Like Pierre-Edouard Frere and Theophile-Emmanuel Duverger, Caille painted an idealized rural life that was popular at the turn of the century, particularly with a growing number of urban dwellers who were already feeling nostalgia for the countryside. These paintings continue to appeal in today’s market for many of the same reasons.

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