Pierre-Alfred De Dreux, a French portrait and animal painter, especially of horses, signed his works with a pen name of Alfred de Dreux.
De Dreux father won the Prix de Rome for architecture in 1815, so the family moved to Rome and lived at the Villa Médicis. While there, a friend of the family Théodore Géricault made portraits of the young Pierre-Alfred De Dreux and his sister Élise.
In 1823, with the encouragement of his uncle, the painter Pierre-Joseph De Dreux-Dorcy, he began studying art with Géricault and, later, with Léon Cogniet. At this time, horses were already his favorite subject. His first exhibition at the Salon came in 1831, he would exhibit there until 1859. The following year, he painted an equestrian oil portrait of the Duc d'Orléans, this painting allowed him to enter the workshop studio of Eugène Isabey.
Shortly before the Duc d'Orléans death, Alfred De Dreux made another portrait of him, together with his guards. King Louis-Philippe was pleased with it and, two years later, requested de Dreux to go with him on an official excursion to England. De Dreux made many trips to England over the next few years. In 1848, he followed the King into exile in Surrey and painted many equestrian portraits of the English aristocracy.
He came back to Paris in 1852 and opened a studio where he created more equestrian portraits, this time of Emperor Napoleon III and his family, and still continued to make frequent trips to England. In 1857, he began sharing a studio with Paul Gavarni, who he met while there.
There was a false rumor that Pierre-Alfred De Dreux had been killed in a duel by Count Fleury, the Emperor's aide-de-camp. The rumor had been started, almost a hundred years later, by Alfred de Dreux's grand-nephew André de Fouquieres in his book of memoirs Fifty Years of Panache.
Art Movement: Academic.
Artists Influencing Pierre-Alfred De Dreux: Théodore Géricault, Eugène Isabey, Léon Cogniet.
He Traveled To Italy, England.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.