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Hector Caffieri RBA RI ROI (1847-1932)


Hector Edward Philippe Caffieri, RBA RI ROI (1847-1931)

Though he is best known for his sensitive, atmospheric studies of fisherfolk – in ports that include his adopted home of Boulogne – Hector Caffieri was a wide-ranging painter of landscapes and genre scenes in the tradition of French academic naturalism.

Hector Caffieri was born at 3 Portland Place, Cheltenham (near the currently existing North Place), the second of eight children of Hector St Cyr Caffieri (1817-1890), a Roman Catholic wine merchant of French descent, and his wife, Mary (née Clow) (1820-1888). When his parents died, in Boulogne, they were styling themselves ‘Caffieri de Beauvallon’. During his youth, the family lived at various addresses in Cheltenham, including 7 Painswick Lawn and 24 Montpelier Walk. He began to exhibit at the Society of British Artists in 1869, while living at the second address. (The society gained its royal charter in 1887.)

Following a brief period in the navy, Caffieri studied art in Paris under Gustave Boulanger and, at the Académie Julian, under Léon Bonnat and Jules Lefebvre. By 1873, he had settled in London and, by the following year, he had taken a studio at 8 Camden Studios, Camden Street.

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