Lancelot-Théodore Turpin de Crissé (Count)

1781 - 1859

Place Born


Place Died



In 1819 a critic noted that Turpin de Crissé’s artistic talent and achievement were unusual for a painter of ‘amateur’ status and aristocratic rank. This statement is somewhat misleading as it was Turpin de Crissé’s conspicuous artistic success that enabled him to restore his family fortunes and live in the style of an aristocrat. The Turpin de Crissé family was of extremely ancient origin and successive generations fought in the service of the Crown, holding the post of Royal Chamberlain to Charles V, Charles VI, Charles VII and François I. During the Revolution the family was exiled in England, but Théodore subsequently returned to France where he was introduced to the Empress Josephine and other members of the imperial family who collected his paintings. Despite his service to the Empress, whose Chamberlain he was from 1809 until her death in 1814, Turpin de Crissé remained an ardent royalist, staunchly loyal to the Bourbons in exile, for which he was rewarded in 1816 with nomination to the Academy, membership of the Council of the Royal Museums, and the appointment, in 1824, as Inspector-General of the Fine Arts. Disgusted by the behavior of Louis-Philippe, he resigned his post after the July Revolution but continued to exhibit at the Salon. In 1836 he presented what may have been his masterpiece, the Royal Family Leaving the Church of Saint-Germain-Auxerrois (New Orleans, Private Collection, fig. 1), which was removed because it was perceived as an attack on the Orléans Monarchy. At his death in 1859, he bequeathed his substantial personal art collection, including antique sculptures and jewels and many painting, to the city of Angers, which installed it in the Hotel Pincé; among these was a Paolo and Francesca by Ingres in a splendid neo-gothic frame that the Turpin himself had selected. His painting style owes much to Ingres, whom he knew and admired, as well as the tradition of the paysage historique established by Valenciennes. He aimed for a porcelain-like finish, and his delicate technique was particularly suited to the highly finished landscapes with figures that he produced throughout his career.

Available Art Works

Courtyard of the Castle of Wuflens, near the lake of Geneva

Work Available
Historical Period: 1780-1820 Neoclassicism and 1810-1870 Romanticism
Courtyard of the Castle of Wuflens, near the lake of Geneva