Finding Aid prepared by Onica Busuioceanu
Getty Research Institute
Research Library
Special Collections and Visual Resources
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
Phone: (310) 440-7390
Fax: (310) 440-7780
Email requests:
J. Paul Getty Trust



Finding aid prepared by Onica Busuioceanu
Getty Research Institute

Contact Information:

  • Getty Research Institute
  • Research Library
  • Special Collections and Visual Resources
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
  • Los Angeles, California 90049-1688
  • Phone: (310) 440-7390
  • Fax: (310) 440-7780
  • Email requests:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Onica Busuioceanu
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
©2006 J. Paul Getty Trust

Descriptive Summary

Title: Nineteenth-century French artists' letters and other papers
Date (inclusive): 1719-1921
Collection number: 2000.M.23
Extent: 90 items
Repository: Getty Research Institute
Research Library
Special Collections and Visual Resources
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
Abstract: This assembled collection comprises 85 items, mainly letters, notes, and cards written by 30 identified French artists, and 10 of other nationalities, on various subjects related to their professional and private lives.
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Language: Collection material is in French

Administrative Information


Open for use by qualified researchers.

Publication Rights

Preferred Citation

Nineteenth-century French artists' letters and other papers, 1719-1921, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Accession no. 2000.M.23.

Acquisition Information

Acquired in 2000.

Processing History

Processed by Onica Busuioceanu.

Scope and Content of Collection

A composite collection, assembled by an English dealer. This composite collection comprises 85 items with identified authors, and 10 unidentified. It consists mainly of letters, notes, and cards written by 30 identified French artists, and 10 of other nationalities, on various subjects related to their professional and private lives.
Among the most significant are 16 letters by Edouard Detaille, revealing details of his private and public activities; some of Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier's letters reflecting his continued fight against his detractors; the comments of Louis Emile Dardoize to his biographer; a letter written by Louis Etienne Waltelet while he was sketching the Echelles de Savoye; and 3 letters of David d'Angers revealing details of his professional life. The correspondence of artists of other nationalities includes the following: Mathilde Ade sends samples of bookplates, with a note on which her photograph is printed; Sigmund Lipinski wants to send bookplate samples, but sends the prices first. Otto Heyden describes his trip across Italy. Paul Tetar van Elven is in Italy, hoping to obtain an important commission. An unidentified Spanish painter describes the artistic life in Madrid and the frustrating behavior of the exhibition juries. The other 9 items in this unidentified group are about various personal matters.
A French document written on parchment and dated Bayonne, 1719 Nov. 27, is also included in the collection. It is a receipt signed by Guy Renéì de la Chevallerie de la Motte for 116 livres, received as payment for two months of his appointment as “ingeìnieur ordinaire du roy" in the ongoing war.


The collection is arranged in one series, alphabetically.

Indexing Terms

Subjects - Names

Clairin, Georges, 1843-1919--Correspondence
Clésinger, Jean-Baptiste, 1814-1883--Correspondence
Cazin, Jean Charles, 1841-1919--Correspondence
David d'Angers, Pierre-Jean, 1788-1856--Correspondence
Detaille, Edouard, 1848-1912--Correspondence
Gérôme, Jean Léon, 1824-1904--Correspondence
Gudin, Jean-Antoine Theìodore, 1802-1880--Correspondence
Meissonier, Jean Louis Ernest, 1815-1891--Correspondence

Subjects - Topics


Genres and Forms of Material

Albumen prints
Book plates


Ade, Mathilde, 1877-1930
Berthelon, Eugène, 1829-1914
Cabanel, Alexandre, 1823-1889
Calmettes, Fernand, 1846-1914
Cazin, Jean Charles, 1841-1901
Clairin, Georges, 1843-1919
Clésinger, Jean Baptiste, 1814-1883
Colin, Paul Alfred, 1838-1916
Dardoize, Emile, 1826-1901
David d'Angers, Pierre-Jean, 1788-1856
David, Jules, 1808-1892
Desnoyers, Auguste Gaspard Louis, baron, 1779-1857
Detaille, Edouard, 1848-1912
Dubray, Vital Gabriel, 1813-1892
Duval-Lecamus, Pierre, 1790-1856
Gérôme, Jean Leìon, 1824-1904
Granet, Francois-Marius, 1775-1849.
Gravillon, Arthur Antoine Alphonse de, 1828-1899
Gudin, Jean-Antoine Theìodore, 1802-1880
Guérin, Paulin-Jean-Baptiste, 1783-1855
Harpignies, Henri, 1819-1916
Hymans, Henri, 1836-1912
Lipinsky, Sigmund, 1873-1940
Lory, Matthias Gabriel,1784-1846
Marold, Ludek, 1865-1898
Meissonier, Jean Louis Ernest, 1815-1891
Miciol, Pierre, 1833-1905
Monnier, Henry, 1799-1877
Percier, Charles, 1764-1838
Rochet, Louis, 1813-1878

Box 1, Folder 1

Ade, Mathilde

Scope and Content Note

Sends the Italian count Rati Opizzone a card with her photograph printed on it, and 2 samples of pictorial book plates, (1889 Apr. 24)
Box 1, Folder 1

Berthelon, Eugène

Scope and Content Note

Sends Eugène Guénin his autobiographic notes, hoping he can help with their publication, (1906 Nov. 21)
Box 1, Folder 2

Cabanel, Alexandre

Scope and Content Note

Congratulates the engraver who sent him the etched diploma he made for the 1881 exposition in Milan, (1882 Jan. 29)
Box 1, Folder 2

Calmettes, Fernand

Scope and Content Note

Apologizes to his friend Sallard for not visiting him on New Year's Day because he was sick, (1889 Jan. 10)
Informs an artist that he will forward the corrections she asked for to the exhibition catalogue committee, and assures her that her artifacts will be safely returned at the end of the show, (1889 Aug. 15)
Urges an artist to pick up his collection because the exhibition has closed, (1898 Nov. 23)
Box 1, Folder 2

Cazin, Jean Charles

Scope and Content Note

Sends an artist “simple indications” on how to correct details of clothing, hairstyling and facial expressions in his painting, (n.d.)
Box 1, Folder 2

Clairin, Georges

Scope and Content Note

Sends a friend the last card from the series “Sentier… pour l'Eden”, (n.d.)
Informs a friend when he may find him at his studio on rue de Rome, (n.d.)
Humorous drawing expressing thanks to Mr. Mariani for his wine, (n.d.)
Small print representing Georges Clairin, (n.d.)
Box 1, Folder 2

Clésinger, Jean-Baptiste

Scope and Content Note

Invites Delâtre to visit because he cannot go out, (n.d.)
Writes an associate in Florence about a subscription for the statue he is working on. A committee is being created, including the banker Giraud, (n.d.)
Short biographical note about Clésinger
Box 1, Folder 2

Colin, Paul Alfred

Scope and Content Note

Asks a friend to contact him, (1901 May 4)
Box 1, Folder 3

Dardoize, Louis Emile

Scope and Content Note

Returns the manuscript of a biographical essay, asking its author to respect the suppressions and changes he has made in the text, (1894 Mar. 29)
Thanks a friend for his intentions, and sends him the titles of his paintings “Matin sur l'étang de Cernay” and “Les tourtrelles - bois de Sèvres”, (1899 Mar. 29)
Obituary of the artist, signed E.G. (clipping)
Box 1, Folder 3

David d'Angers

Scope and Content Note

Regrets letter for having missed an important meeting, presumably at the Institut, (1828 Sept. 12)
Sends the engraver Texier a note about the works he has asked for, (n.d.)
Regrets that Mr. Vitet is currently too busy to help. If he himself had been a good writer, his article about their excellent work would have brought the well deserved publicity, (n.d.)
Box 1, Folder 3

David, Jules

Scope and Content Note

Thanks count Stanislas Grimaldi for the invitation to a “réunion de camarades,” which he regards as a special favor, (1854 Oct. 22)
Desnoyers, Auguste Gaspard Louis, baron
Answers unspecified requests of Pierre Bénard, and of the king's physician Gervais de Caen, addressed to him in his official capacities, (1848)
Box 1, Folder 4

Detaille, Edouard

Scope and Content Note

Thanks R. Knoedler for making his painting available to someone interested in it, (1883 July 10)
Confirms his participation to the annual dinner offered by the Société des artistes français to the ministers and high rank officers of beaux-arts, (1884 June 19)
Receipt for Fr. 200 given by Samuel P. Avery to the subscription for the monument to Alphonse de Neuville, signed by Detaille, (1888)
Asks a friend to help an architect who has made restorations at the Louvre obtain the recognition he deserves, (1889 Oct. 17)
Thanks Olaf Halvorsen for his appreciation, (1890 Oct. 17)
Asks a friend to help with the official acquisition of a painting by Mme Amouroux, (1892? Jan. 28)
Calling card with congratulations apparently related to the celebration of Puvis de Chavannes' 80th birthday, (1895 Jan. 28)
Answers Vallet Monier's good wishes, (1897 Jan. 3)
Asks a friend to do what is necessary for placing an order with a painter who is offering to make his portrait, (1899 Sept. 29)
Informs the artist who will make his portrait about the size of the painting, his costume, and the days when he can sit for it, (1899 Oct. 3)
Writes to Aimé Morot before the opening of the Exposition du Cercle [de l'union artistique] to express his pride in having been painted by him (postcard illustrated with small exotic animals, 1900 Jan. 30)
Informs a friend of the day and time of his arrival in Paris, (n.d.)
Writes an artist commending the new art of French posters introduced by artists like Chiret, Urillette and Grasset, which, he hopes, will eliminate the English and American “coloriages” displayed on the French walls, (n.d.)
Describes to an old friend [Alphonse de Neuville?] a festival with military parade, (n.d.)
Thank you note to a friend for a delicious dinner “en cabinet particulier”, (n.d.)
Note exchanging friendly good wishes, (n.d.)
Box 1, Folder 4

Dubray, Vital Gabriel

Scope and Content Note

Albumen photograph representing the sculpture of a male in Egyptian garb, (n.d.)
Box 1, Folder 4

Duval-Le Camus, Pierre

Scope and Content Note

Sends the artillery commander Castret an artifact he hopes will please his wife, (n.d.)
Box 1, Folder 5

Forster, François (?)

Scope and Content Note

Sends to stamps curator Piery at the King's library detailed information about a book from 1475 listed in Brunet, with description of subsequent editions and sales prices, (1828 Mar. 23)
Box 1, Folder 5

Gérard, F. (?)

Scope and Content Note

Thanks Mr. Storelli who has put an apartment at his disposal, (n.d.)
Box 1, Folder 5

Gérome, Jean Léon

Scope and Content Note

Congratulates an architect for his successful restorations in Rome, and promises to send him an old sketch, because he no longer sketches, (1897 Apr. 23)
Box 1, Folder 5

Granet, François Marius

Scope and Content Note

Invites Mr. Moya to bring his recommendation letter, (1834 Feb. 13)
Box 1, Folder 5

Gravillon, Arthur de

Scope and Content Note

Requests permission to copy parts of the Annunciation fresco (Florence, granted on 1861 Mar. 7)
Box 1, Folder 5

Gudin, Theodore, baron

Scope and Content Note

Receipt for Fr. 10,000 received from Mr. De Rougemont for the painting Vue de Constantinople, (1841 Sept. 4)
Box 1, Folder 5

Guérin Paulin, Jean Baptiste

Scope and Content Note

Asks Baillière to obtain their Iconography at the best price for a naturalist whose trip to Senegal will profit the study of zoology, (1839 Jan.29)
Sends Pieri Bénard the print he wanted, at Fr. 60, as it is a rare proof, (n.d.)
Box 1, Folder 6

Harpignies, Henry

Scope and Content Note

He could not answer a letter because of his wife's illness, but urges his correspondent to follow the excellent advice of M. Galant, (1882 Sept. 30)
Postcard to L. Diemer postponing an appointment, (1900 Feb. 4)
Thanks Diemer for his invitation, but he won't be back in Paris before the end of the month, (1900 Feb. 14)
Informs Arthur Duparc that his painting was satisfactorily repaired and asks him to send someone to fetch it, (n.d.)
Message asking a friend to meet him downstairs, (n.d.)
Box 1, Folder 6

Heyden, Otto

Scope and Content Note

Writes to a friend from Lugano, describing his trip across Italy, (1876 Aug. 16)
Box 1, Folder 6

Hymans, Henry

Scope and Content Note

The secretary of the Société royale belge des aquarellistes in Brussels informs the painter Eleuthere Pagliano in Milan that the watercolor he sold to the government was chosen to be reproduced in chromolithography and distributed to the subscribers to the next tombola of the society (Brussels, 1870 June 29)
Box 1, Folder 6

Le Camus (?)

Scope and Content Note

Friendly letter from Brussels to Joseph Bertoluzzi in Parme about persons he met in Italy. Will send him a box of fine colors, (n.d.)
Asks Bertoluzzi for details about the compass box he is to order for him in Paris. Waiting for an occasion to send him the box of colors. Still hoping to return to Italy, but needs to find work there. Asks for an engraving to use on calling cards (Paris, an XII, 30 Pluviose = Jan. 1804)
Short message: he was away, could not take care of business, will do it soon, (n.d.)
Box 1, Folder 6

Legrain, Eugène

Scope and Content Note

Announces his decision to send a group of four figures entitled “Une puissance moderne” to the next Salon. It may be viewed at his studio, (1902 Feb. 28)
Box 1, Folder 6

Lipinsky, Sigmund

Scope and Content Note

Answers count Luigi Opizzoni of Turin that he will send him samples of bookplates at 1500 Lire per etched plate (Rome, 1921 Apr. 26)
Box 1, Folder 6

Lory, Mathia Gabriel fils

Scope and Content Note

Sends the Parisian dealer Pierre Bénard the account of the landscapes he had left with him on commission, including the prices. Wants to know which were sold, and which are still there (Neuchâtel, 1832 Apr. 7)
Box 1, Folder 7

Marold, Ludek

Scope and Content Note

Informs an unnamed person that he has no time to make the drawings he was asked for, (n.d.)
Box 1, Folder 7

Meissonier, Jean Louis Ernest

Scope and Content Note

Thanks a member of the Institut who supports his strongly contested candidacy for the position of professor of painting, (1869 Oct. 26)
Gives permission to an unnamed correspondent to announce that he will present his old painting “Napoleon III surrounded by his general staff” to the incoming Salon, and in 1874 a figure of Napoleon I in grisaille [1873]
Reproachful letter to a critic who tarnished his name in the scandal involving his painting “1807” sold to the English art collector Richard Wallace, (1876 Jan. 2)
Accepts the interview request from someone who wants to write his biography, (1877 Jan. 20)
Writes to the prefect of police pleading for a milder punishment for a young man who stole some studies from his studio, (1882 July 28)
Answers to an Englishman that he awaits his visit with pleasure, (1888 Jan. 18)
Postpones a meeting with a friend because he must finish his study at the Jardin des plantes for his “1807” painting, (1890 Apr. 9)
Courtesy letter of the artist's son, Charles, to an unnamed person, (1886 Mar. 19)
Box 1, Folder 7

Miciol, Pierre

Scope and Content Note

During his stay at the French Academy in Rome, the engraver asks permission to make studies after a painting by Andrea del Sarto (granted on 1861 July 1)
Box 1, Folder 7

Monnier, Henry

Scope and Content Note

Reminds the bookseller Ladvocat of their agreement over the number of copies he is to receive from the book put on sale, (1834 Sept. 6)
Thanks Delaunay for helping to solve his pension problems, as he is approaching his 76th birthday, [1876]
Print representing Henri Monnier, (1840)
Box 1, Folder 8

Papini, Ludvig

Scope and Content Note

Informs a correspondent that he cannot be included in a book about Italian artists because he is an Austrian citizen (Venice, 1890 May 17)
Box 1, Folder 8

Percier, Charles

Scope and Content Note

Thanks a gentleman who sent him a letter from a common friend, (1835 Oct. 1)
Box 1, Folder 8

Rochet, Louis

Scope and Content Note

Short note from the sculptor to an unnamed person whom he will meet soon when he goes to Turin, (1852 Aug. 22)
Box 1, Folder 8

Serra y Auque, Enrique

Scope and Content Note

Invites Sr. Avanzini to his studio to see the Madonna painting commissioned by the Pope, to be sent as a gift to Spain, (n.d.)
Box 1, Folder 8

Tetar van Elven, Paul

Scope and Content Note

Writes to a gentleman whom he could not find at home, and hopes that he had called him to order a big painting, (n.d.)
Box 1, Folder 8

Watelet, Louis Etienne

Scope and Content Note

Courtesy letter to an unnamed person written during his trip to the Echelles in Savoie to make drawings in that scenic area, (1830 Sept. 7)
Box 1, Folder 9

Guy René de la Chevallerie de la Motte

Scope and Content Note

Receipt for 116 livres, payment for two months of his appointment as artillery engineer during the ongoing war (on parchment, Bayonne, 1719 Nov. 27)