Henri-Pierre-Léon Pharamond Blanchard

1805 - 1873

Place Born

La Guillotière

Place Died



Blanchard entered the École des Beaux-Arts as a pupil of Baron Gros in 1819. He visited Spain in 1826 and in 1833 accompanied Baron Taylor for a second trip to collaborate on the illustration of the Voyage pittoresque en Espagne. There Blanchard painted genre subjects, bullfighting scenes, and tales of Spanish brigands. After further travels he returned to Spain at the invitation of the Duke of Montpensier, painting a San Isidro Labrador that he later showed at the Salon of 1852. In 1838 he traveled to the still exotic Mexico, accompanying the Prince de Joinville (a younger son of King Louis-Philippe, and an amateur artist of considerable talent) as part of an official expedition under the command of Vice-Admiral Baudin. Upon his return Blanchard completed a series of five works, commemorating the attack and conquest of Vera Cruz (three of which were shown at the Salon of 1840). His Mexican journey later inspired two historical paintings, Fernando Cortez (Salon of 1845), and Nuñez de Balboa Discovering the South Sea in 1515 (Salon of 1855). This trip was followed by a voyage along the northeastern coast of South America down to Brazil and across to North Africa. He evidently enjoyed travel; his journey to Constantinople led to the publication in 1855 of an illustrated record of the trip from Paris to the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Blanchard had made his debut at the Salon of 1834 with a bull-fighting scene, and continued to exhibit for another thirty years until 1865, when he returned to a Mexican theme representing an incident from France’s ill-fated attempt to establish the Archduke Maximilian as Emperor. Blanchard’s landscapes are usually incidental to his subjects but his experiences abroad provided the opportunity for exotic settings and in these he demonstrates an acutely observant eye for the unusual that he utilized to considerable effect in his major subject pictures.

Art Works Sold

Paul and Virginia

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Historical Period: 1810-1870 Romanticism
Paul and Virginia