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The Artist's Studio

The Artist's Studio

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Auguste-Xavier Leprince

In his short lifetime, Auguste-Xavier Leprince became a well-known artist and master of his own studio. Trained by his father, painter and lithographer Anne-Pierre Leprince, he worked in the academic tradition, which offered rigorous training based on the study of ancient art. In this painting, Leprince offers a glimpse into an academic artist’s studio of the 1820s. The highly detailed canvas shows how artists worked, what tools were used, and how brushes were held. Plaster casts of well-known classical sculptures, including the Laocöon and the Venus de Milo, are displayed around the room. Two classical busts, perched high on a shelf at right, appear to look down like spectators on the informal assembly of students, patrons, and critics. Leprince is the figure seen from the back in profile seated before the large painting to the right of center. The canvas he is working on is Loading of Livestock at Honfleur, which he exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1824 and was purchased two years later by King Charles X of France. The inscription on the stretcher notes that this painting was commissioned by M. du Sommerard, Leprince’s chief patron. In 1869 it was purchased by Octave de Labastie, the figure seated before an easel, fifth from the left. The only other identifiable figure is the artist’s father, who stands just to the left of his son’s canvas.
Auguste-Xavier Leprince
(French, 1799 - 1826)
The Artist's Studio
Oil on canvas
28 11/16 x 36 3/8 in. Overall
Harry and Margaret P. Glicksman, Juli Plant Grainger, John S. Lord, and Earl O. Vits Endowment Funds, and Norman Bassett Foundation Fund purchase
Accession No.


1826-1843, M. Dusommerard; 11-13 December 1843, sale [no. 197] (Paris, France); François Delessert; 16 March 1869, sold to Octave de Labastie; 1982, Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox Ltd. (London, England) sold to the Elvehjem Museum of Art [now called Chazen Museum of Art]

  • Beetem, Robert. "An Artist's Studio in 1826 by August-Xavier Leprince." Bulletin/Annual Report 1985-1986, Elvehjem Museum of Art (1986): 17-28. pp. 17-28
  • Elvehjem Museum of Art. "Handbook of the Collection." Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Madison, 1990. no. 78
  • Olausson, Magnus. "In the Artist's Studio: Auguste-Xavier Leprince and the Studio Interior and an Artistic Strategy." Art Bulletin of Nationalmuseum Stockholm, vol. 26.1 (2020): 53-58.

  • In the Studio: Chazen Museum of Art, 6/1/2019-8/11/2019
  • Salon of 1827, Paris: Paris Salon, 11/30/1999-11/30/1999

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