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 Henri Joseph Penelon  (1827 - 1885)

About: Henri Joseph Penelon


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Lived/Active: California/Arizona / France      Known for: portrait, religious and fresco painting, photography

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Henri Joseph Pnlon is primarily known as Henri Joseph Penelon

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A fresco painter, portraitist and photographer, Henri Penelon settled in Los Angeles in 1850 and became that city's first resident artist-photographer.  His portraits subjects were prominent persons, and, primarily a photographer, his one surviving oil portrait is of Don Jose Sepulveda, an important California Ranch owner who is depicted in detailed clothing and saddlery.  He also painted frescoes in the Plaza Church in Los Angeles.

His style is fairly primitive, but his works have great historic value.  They are held in several California historical museums including that of Los Angeles County.  He was born in Lyon, France and died in Prescott, Arizona in 1885, but his date of arrival in that state is unknown. It is thought that he remained a resident of California about 25 years.

Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following was submitted by Juan Jennifer Lopez:

The Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History houses his portrait of Don Antonio Lugo.  My father owns a portrait by Penelon of my great great grandmother Guadalupe Ruiz.  My great great grandfather, Frederic Guiol, her husband, was in business with Henri Penelon.

Henri and he were among the founding people of the French Benevolent Society.  The two were investors in a mine among four or five others.  The picture of Guadalupe is on the front of  Frederic's business card.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Lyon, France in 1827. Penelon settled in Los Angeles about 1850, becoming that city's first resident artist. Initially, he painted portraits of prominent Californios and, during the 1860s and 1870s, had a daguerreotype studio. He died in Prescott, AZ in 1885. His works are primitive, rare, and of great historical value. In: Bowers Museum (Santa Ana); LA Co. Museum of Natural History.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
First 100 Years of Painting in California (J. Van Nostrand).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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