Decamps, Alexandre Gabriel

BORN 3 Mar 1803, Paris - DIED 22 Aug 1860, Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne
CAUSE OF DEATH fall from a horse when hunting
GRAVE LOCATION Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne: Cimetière, 1 Place de Verdun (Division E)

Alexandre Gabriel Decamps came from a Parisian family. He lived in Arsy, Oise for a few years, but after his father died in 1816 he returned to Paris and entered the studio of the architectural painter Étienne Bouhot. In 1816 he left Bouhot to study under Abel de Pujol. His first works were genre paintings and he debuted at the Salon of 1827 with "La Chasse aux vanneaux et Soldat de la garde du Vizir". In 1828 he travelled to Greece with the painter Louis Garneray and they continued their journey in the Middle East. He took notes and made sketches and after his return he started paiting scenes from oriental daily life. His new work was first shown at the Salon of Paris in 1831. This made him a founder of orientalism and his influence was huge. In 1835 he travelled to Italy to study the works of Raphael and Titian.

Maxime Du Camp referred to him as the Christopher Columbus of the Orient. His painting "Defeat of the Cimbri" depicts a battle between barbarians and a well organised army. "The Monkey Connoisseurs" (1837, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) was a satire on the jury of the French Academy of Painting that had turned down his work in the past. In 1853 his health started failing and he closed down his studio in Paris. He relocated to Veyrier, Lot-et-Garonne. In 1855 a large retrospective of his work was shown at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. In 1857 he moved to Fontainebleau, where he died after he fell from a horse during a hunt.

Important collections of his works are in the posession of The Louvre in Paris and the Wallace Collection in London.

Related persons
• was teacher of Sabatier, Victor
• was a friend of Winterhalter, Franz Xaver

24/5/1871The posessions of Auguste Préault go down in flames. During the Commune of Paris a powder storage near his house and studio was blown up. His house burnt down and he lost his own works, his furniture, his medals, his drawings by Jordaens and his paintings by Delacroix, Decamps, Rousseau and Yvon. [Delacroix, Eugène]


The grave of Alexandre de Camps at the cemetery of Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne.
Picture by Androom (01 Nov 2019)


The grave of Alexandre de Camps at the cemetery of Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne.
Picture by Androom (01 Nov 2019)


• Blühm, Andreas (ed.), Auguste Préault, Romantiek in brons, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, 1997
Schilderkunst van A tot Z, REBO, Lisse, 1990
Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps - Wikipedia

Dedekind, Richard

Published: 29 Dec 2019
Last update: 29 Dec 2019