CHEESE MARKET AT LES HALLES
Oil on Postcard
6½ x 9 Inches
Signed Lower Right, "Dambourgez" and Titled, "Paris"
A fine and detailed, late-nineteenth century view of a counter of the bustling cheese market at Les Halles showing customers viewing, sampling and purchasing a wide array of cheeses from the busy attendants. This cabinet-size work provides an unusual insight into the daily life of the Parisian bourgeoisie at the end of the 19th century and it is characterised both by finely-observed still-life handling and fully-realized and animated figures. This particular painting was the artist's sample and it is accompanied by his original list of prices for other sizes of the same work available for commission. A large version of the work, 'The Cream and Cheese Market at Les Halles', was exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1891 and was purchased directly from the exhibition by the City of Paris.
Edouard-Jean Dambourgez first studied with Jules Lefebvre and, subsequently, as an engraver and chromo-lithographer under Gustave Boulanger. In 1880, Dambourgez commenced exhibiting at the Salon des Artistes Français, and, in 1883, was elected a member of the Society. Throughout the 1880's, he exhibited frequently and with success at the major Paris salons including the Salon d'Automne, the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon des Champs-de-Mars. In 1884, he was commissioned by the Louvre to engrave all illustrations for the catalog to the Thiers Collection, recently bequeathed to the Museum. The recipient of numerous prizes, medals and juried awards, Dambourgez was awarded an honorable distinction by the Salon in 1888, and an honorable mention in 1891.
In 1888, the critic Albert Wolff recommended his painting, 'A Cheese Shop', for inclusion at the Salon des Artistes Français. In 1891, the city of Paris bought his large canvas, 'The Cream and Cheese Market at Les Halles' and, in 1921, his city view titled 'Canal in Dordrecht'.
According to the Revue des Beaux-Arts, the artist's style evolved from realistic to naturalist, and, by 1894, to "frankly Impressionist." Dambourgez left Paris in 1896 and subsequently lived and painted in Spain, Italy and Morocco while continuing to exhibit with success in Paris.
E. Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs, Jacques Busse, 1999 Nouvelle Édition, Gründ 1911, Vol. 4, p. 210; Thieme-Becker Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zu Gengenwart, Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag 1992, Vol. 7/8, p. 316; et al.
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