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Sold at Auction: Jules Dupré

Alias:Jules DupréJules Louis Dupré


(b Nantes, France, 1811; d L’isle-Adam, 1889) French Painter. Jules Dupré began his career as a porcelain decorator, depicting the landscape surrounding his factory at Limousin before moving to Paris in 1829. In Paris, Dupré became friends with fellow landscape painters Théodore Rousseau and Constant Troyon. There he studied under Jean-Michel Diébolt, who encouraged his interest in painting en plein air with a particular focus on depicting changing weather and light conditions.** Dupré later visited London to study print-making and was exposed to the work of John Constable and modern English landscape painting, as well as to seventeenth-century Dutch realism in all its genres. The experience of painting outside the French tradition imbued Dupré's work when he returned to Paris in 1832. In 1833, four of his paintings were accepted at the official Salon in Paris, a success which was followed two years after with a third class medal. His popularity lasted through the 1830s, but was curtailed, along with other Barbizon artists, by the overly conservative juries of the Salons of the 1840's. During the 1830s and 1840s, as Dupré and his circle of friends struggled to invent a new form of French realism, they often found their only encouragement amid a small group of collectors and scholars who were simultaneously trying to revive the reputations of older French masters who had been pushed aside in the post-revolution return to strict classicism. Following the revolution of 1848, Dupré and his fellow landscape artists returned to favor and in 1849 he became a Chevalier de la legion d'honneur.* Dupré’s painting style was a compelling mix of the realistic and the romantic - he saw nature as majestic and almost spiritual and believed, for example, that trees were significant elements which served to link heaven and earth.** (Credit: *Sotheby’s, New York, 19th Century European and American Paintings, November 2, 1999, Lot 7; **Christie’s, London, 19th Century European Art, June 26, 2007, Lot 230)
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