Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cuadros -Alfred Chalon-

Girl Reading a Letter

Cuadro de Alfred Chalon

Alfred Edward Chalon (1780-1860)
Chalon was born in Geneva, Switzerland, the son of a watchmaker. Between 1789 and 1794 Chalon's father left Geneva with his family as a result of troubles arising from the French Revolution, and eventually settled in London. Chalon and his brother were intended for a career in trade, but instead both became students at the Royal Academy schools, Alfred in 1797. Chalon exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1801 (not 1810 as has been suggested) until 1860. He was elected an Associate in 1812, and was made a full Academician in 1816. Chalon painted miniatures on ivory. He also painted small portraits in watercolour on paper, often about 15 inches high. He was a witty caricaturist, and also painted genre and history subjects. In 1808 he briefly exhibited with the 'Associated Artists in Water-Colours'. In 1808 he also set up a private 'Society for the Study of Epic and Pastoral Design', which held weekly evening meetings to sketch with like-minded artists - this survived until 1851. His elegant miniatures and watercolour portraits were hugely fashionable. He was especially popular in court circles and was appointed painter in watercolour to Queen Victoria. He famously said when asked by the Queen whether he was worried by competition from the new invention of photography, 'Ah non, Madame, photography can't flatter!'. Alfred and his brother John lived together and had a close brotherly relationship. Alfred died in 1860 and was buried in Highgate cemetery in the same grave as his brother.
De V&A

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