Adolphe De Neuville France
5-31-1835 Saint-Omer, FRA – 5-18-1885 Paris, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Born Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe Deneuville to wealthy parents at Saint-Omer, Pas-de-Calais, earned his degree of bachelier ès-lettres, and in spite of family opposition, he entered the naval school at Lorient; it was there that his artistic instincts started.
He was discouraged by several painters of repute, but he was admitted to work in the studio of François-Edouard Picot; Alphonse de Neuville did not remain there long. He was painting by himself when he produced his first picture, The Fifth Battalion of Chasseurs at the Gervais Battery. In 1860 Neuville painted an Episode of the taking of Naples by Garibaldi.
He participated in illustrating the Hetzel editions of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. He also illustrated Le Tour du monde and Guizot's History of France. At the same time he painted a number of remarkable pictures: The Attack in the Streets of Magenta by Zouaves and the Light Horse (1864), A Zouave Sentinel (1865), The Battle of San Lorenzo (1867), and Dismounted Cavalry crossing the Tchernaia (1869). In these he showed peculiar insight into military life, but his full power was not reached until after the Franco-Prussian War.
Alphonse de Neuville then aimed at depicting in his works the episodes of that war, and began by representing the Bivouac before Le Bourget (1872). His fame spread rapidly, and was increased by The Last Cartridges (1873), memorializing an episode involving the Blue Division of the French marines, in which it is easy to discern the vast difference between the conventional treatment of military subjects, as practised by Horace Vernet, and that of a man who had lived the life that he painted.
In 1874 the Fight on a Railroad was not less successful, and was followed by the Attack on a House at Villersexel (1875) and the Railway Bridge at Styring (1877). Alphonse de Neuville also exhibited in London some episodes of the Zulu War. Fifty thousand people paid to see his impression of The Defence of Rorke's Drift (1880), which the infant Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney paid a large sum to acquire.
Art Movement: Academic Art
Influences: Eugène Delacroix