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Henri Delaborde (1811-1899)

Comte Henri Delaborde (1811-1899)

Henri Delaborde was a key figure in the academic classical tradition of nineteenth-century French painting associated with Ingres. A student and intimate of Delaroche, he produced major large-scale history paintings and ecclesiastical decorations early in his career. Then, in the 1850s, he became a significant critic and curator, championing the tradition in which he had worked and proving himself an early authority on the history of printmaking.

Henri Delaborde was born in Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine, France, on 2 May 1811, the third of the four children of the French Revolutionary general, Comte Henri-François Delaborde, and his wife, Julie (née Guillaume). Considered to be a brilliant pupil, while at the Bourbon and Charlemagne lycées, both in Paris, he began to study law. However, he soon decided instead to develop his precocious talent for art and, with his father’s permission, between 1829 and 1834, trained in the studio of the painter, Paul Delaroche.

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