Théodore Gudin

Last updated
Théodore Gudin
Theodore Gudin.png
Théodore Gudin, photograph by Étienne Carjat (c.1865)
Born15 August 1802  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Died11 April 1880  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg (aged 77)
Theodore Gudin signature.png

Jean Antoine Théodore Gudin (15 August 1802 – 11 April 1880) was a French marine painter and court painter to both king Louis Philippe and subsequently Emperor of the French Napoleon III. Along with Louis-Philippe Crépin, he became one of the first two official Peintres de la Marine in 1830.



Fisherfolk on the beach, 1875 (American collection) Theodore Gudin - Fisherfolk on the beach.jpg
Fisherfolk on the beach, 1875 (American collection)

Gudin was born in Paris. Nothing is known of his father and, in his memoirs, he seems to suggest that his mother was a widow who took full responsibility for raising him and his older brother, Jean-Louis (1799–1823). [1] He was enrolled at a naval school, but quit his studies to go to New York, where he mingled with the Bonapartists in exile. In 1819, he joined the United States Navy and sailed aboard the Manchester Packet, a 250-ton brig. [2]

In 1822, he returned to Paris and, inspired by his brother (who had become a student of Horace Vernet) he decided to pursue a career in art and found a position in the studios of Anne-Louis Girodet. [1] He made his debut at the Salon that same year. [3] The following year, he and his brother were involved in a shipwreck on the Seine, from which he escaped. His brother drowned, however, and this affected him deeply for the rest of his life. [4] In 1824, he had another exhibition at the Salon and won the support of future King Louis Philippe I with a painting of the ship that had taken him on a visit to America. In 1828, King Charles X commissioned him to paint a depiction of Ensign Hippolyte Bisson  [ fr ] who, the year before, had blown up his ship rather than surrender it to pirates. Shortly after, Gudin went with his friend, French Navy officer Abel Aubert du Petit-Thouars, to participate in the Algerian Expedition, where he made numerous sketches.

Upon his return, he was named a "Peintre de la Marine" at the court of Louis Philippe. Over the next few years, he made painting trips to Italy, Switzerland and Russia. He was then created a Baron by the King and commissioned to produce ninety paintings on French naval history for the Palace of Versailles, a monumental task that apparently undermined his health.

He was named an officer in the Legion of Honor in 1841. [5] Following an exhibit in Berlin in 1845, he received the cross Pour le Mérite . [6] In 1844, he married Louise Margaret Hay (1820–1890), daughter of the English General James Hay (1788–1862) and goddaughter of the King. They had three children, including the painter Henriette Gudin.

During the French Revolution of 1848, he divided his time between France and England and remained neutral. However, during the Coup d'État of 1851, he came down firmly on the side of the Republicans. In 1857, he was named a Commander in the Legion of Honor. [5] In 1865, back in favor with the Bonapartes, he accompanied the Emperor, Napoléon III, to Algeria and returned by way of Tangiers on the Imperial corvette Reine Hortense .

He served as vice-president of the Société centrale de sauvetage des naufragés  [ fr ], [7] which he helped to create in 1864, in memory of his late brother Jean Louis. [8] After the fall of the Empire in 1870, he went into self-imposed exile in England and used the name "Gordon". He was able to return to France in 1879, following the death of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, and died at Boulogne-Billancourt in 1880.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson</span> French painter (1767–1824)

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, also known as Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson or simply Girodet, was a French painter and pupil of Jacques-Louis David, who participated in the early Romantic movement by including elements of eroticism in his paintings. Girodet is remembered for his precise and clear style and for his paintings of members of the Napoleonic family.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Théodore Chassériau</span> French romantic painter (1819-1856)

Théodore Chassériau was a Dominican-born French Romantic painter noted for his portraits, historical and religious paintings, allegorical murals, and Orientalist images inspired by his travels to Algeria. Early in his career he painted in a Neoclassical style close to that of his teacher Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, but in his later works he was strongly influenced by the Romantic style of Eugène Delacroix. He was a prolific draftsman, and made a suite of prints to illustrate Shakespeare's Othello. The portrait he painted at the age of 15 of Prosper Marilhat, makes Théodore Chassériau the youngest painter exhibited at the Louvre museum.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jean Béraud</span> French painter (1849–1935)

Jean Béraud was a French painter renowned for his numerous paintings depicting the life of Paris, and the nightlife of Paris society. Pictures of the Champs Elysees, cafés, Montmartre and the banks of the Seine are precisely detailed illustrations of everyday Parisian life during the "Belle Époque". He also painted religious subjects in a contemporary setting.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Musée Carnavalet</span> History Museum, Art museum, Historic site in Paris, France

The Musée Carnavalet in Paris is dedicated to the history of the city. The museum occupies two neighboring mansions: the Hôtel Carnavalet and the former Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau. On the advice of Baron Haussmann, the civil servant who transformed Paris in the latter half of the 19th century, the Hôtel Carnavalet was purchased by the Municipal Council of Paris in 1866; it was opened to the public in 1880. By the latter part of the 20th century, the museum was full to capacity. The Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau was annexed to the Carnavalet and opened to the public in 1989.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin</span> French painter

Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin was a French miniature painter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ambroise Louis Garneray</span> French painter

Ambroise Louis Garneray was a French corsair, painter and writer. He served under Robert Surcouf and Jean-Marie Dutertre, and was held as prisoner-of-war by the British for eight years after being captured before being repatriated at the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars, continuing his career as a painter until his death in 1857.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Antoine Léon Morel-Fatio</span> French painter

Antoine Léon Morel, later Morel-Fatio (1810–1871) was a French naval painter, Peintre officiel de la Marine, curator of the naval and ethnographic museum of the Louvre, and mayor of the 20th arrondissement of Paris. He added Fatio in 1844 to distinguish himself from a businessman of the same name. It was apparently in reference to a Swiss branch of the family.

Ignace Brice was a neoclassical painter of genre, portraits and religious scenes from Brussels.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">René Schützenberger</span> French painter

René-Paul Schützenberger was a French Post-Impressionist painter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charles-Philippe Larivière</span> French painter

Charles-Philippe Larivière was a French academic painter and lithographer.

Louis-Philippe Crépin was a French marine painter. Together with Théodore Gudin, he was appointed as one of France's first two Peintres de la Marine in 1830.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">François-Émile de Lansac</span> French painter (1803–1890)

François-Émile de Lansac was a French painter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Théodore Frère</span> French painter

Charles-Théodore Frère was a French Orientalist painter. His younger brother, Pierre-Édouard, and his nephew and namesake, Charles Edouard Frère, were also painters.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edouard Hamman</span>

Edouard Jean Conrad Hamman was a Belgian painter and engraver who specialized in portraying scenes from the lives of famous artists, scholars and the nobility.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paul-Émile Boutigny</span> French painter (1853–1929)

Paul-Émile Boutigny was a French painter who specialized in military subjects.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Antoine Guillemet</span> French painter

Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Guillemet was a French renowned landscape painter and longtime Jury member of the Salon des Artistes Francais. He was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, and a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">François Topino-Lebrun</span> French painter

François Jean-Baptiste Topino-Lebrun was a French painter and revolutionary. He worked in the Neo-Classical style and was said to be the favorite student of Jacques-Louis David.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edmond de Palézieux</span> Swiss painter (1850–1924)

Edmond Henri Théodore de Palézieux, nicknamed Falconnet was a Swiss marine painter, known for his dramatic scenes of sailors fighting the elements. He was also an amateur sailor and navigator.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alfred de Curzon</span> French painter

Paul-Alfred Parent de Curzon was a French painter, known for his genre scenes and landscapes with figures.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">André Brouillet</span> French painter

Pierre Aristide André Brouillet was a French academic painter specialising in genre painting, portraits and landscapes.


  1. 1 2 Béraud, Souvenirs du Baron Gudin, pgs. 25–26.
  2. Eugène Sue, In: La France maritime, edited by Amédée Gréhan, Paris, Postel, 1837, Vol. III, pgs.158–160.
  3. Base Salons, Paris, année 1822, musée d'Orsay.
  4. "Le Miroir des spectacles, des lettres, des mœurs et des arts". Gallica (in French). 1823-03-07. Retrieved 2018-12-31.
  5. 1 2 "Notice no. LH/1214/30". Base Léonore (in French).
  6. J. Wagner, Der Orden „Pour le merite“ für Wissenschaft und Künste. Die Mitglieder 1842–1883, Gebr. Mann-Verlag, Berlin, 1975.
  7. La Société centrale de sauvetage des naufragés (SCSN), a été reconnue d’utilité publique par un décret impérial du 17 novembre 1865
  8. Biography of Jean Louis Gudin @ Gallica BnF

Further reading