Art & Design Magazine

The Pre-Impressionists: Charles Jacque and Léon Jacque

By Adventuresintheprinttrade
Hello everyone. I'm not intending to revive this blog, as I simply don't have the time, but I have found a few posts that are so nearly complete that it seems a shame not to post them. So here's an addition to the posts I made about Barbizon artists quite a while back.
The Jacque brothers, Charles Émile and Léon, are minor figures in the Barbizon School compared to Corot, Millet, Rousseau, and Daubigny, but their art has an honesty and charm that still keeps it alive today. Charles Émile Jacque was born in Paris in 1813, and died there in 1894. The younger brother Léon Jacque was born in 1828, and surprisingly his date of death appears to be unknown. I haven't come across any work by Léon Jacque after 1872, so I would hazard a guess at a death in the early 1870s. The whole Jacque family seem to have been artistically gifted; there are also Charles Jacque's sons Émile, Frédéric, and Maurice, and a Marcel Jacque who seems to be some kind of relation.
The Pre-Impressionists: Charles Jacque and Léon JacqueLéopold Massard, Charles Émile JacqueEtching, 1884
Charles Émile Jacque was born and died in Paris. Charles was apprenticed to an engraver of maps at the age of 17; wishing to become an artist, he made his first original etching at this period, a head of a woman after Rembrandt. Unable to support himself as an artist, Charles Jacque then joined the army for a period of seven years, taking part in the siege of Anvers. During this time Jacque continued making drawings, which he sold for a franc apiece. After a further two years as a wood engraver in England, Charles Jacque returned to France, and established himself in Paris.
The Pre-Impressionists: Charles Jacque and Léon JacqueCharles Jacque, L'escalierEtching, 1845
The Pre-Impressionists: Charles Jacque and Léon JacqueCharles Jacque, Les GaudesRelief etching (procédé Comte), 1852
The Pre-Impressionists: Charles Jacque and Léon JacqueCharles Jacque, A CottageEtching, 1865
The Pre-Impressionists: Charles Jacque and Léon JacqueCharles Jacque, La fenêtre de l'aubergeEtching after Adraen van Ostade, 1845
The Pre-Impressionists: Charles Jacque and Léon JacqueCharles JacqueEtching after Meindert Hobbema
The Pre-Impressionists: Charles Jacque and Léon JacqueWilliam Brassey Hole, Le retour du troupeauEtching after Charles Émile Jacque, 1888
Charles Jacque made his Salon debut with etchings in 1845. Jacque became a prominent member of the group of plein-air landscape painters known as the Barbizon School. He was particularly close to Théodore Rousseau, and influenced by Millet, who was his neighbor at Barbizon for many years.
The Pre-Impressionists: Charles Jacque and Léon JacqueLéon Jacque, L'étableEtching, 1864
The Pre-Impressionists: Charles Jacque and Léon JacqueLéon Jacque, Environ de FontainebleauEtching, 1864
The Pre-Impressionists: Charles Jacque and Léon JacqueLéon Jacque, Pensée amoureuse (femme de profil cousant)Etching after Edmé Bouchardon, 1864
Léon Jacque exhibited at the Salon de Paris for only a brief period, from 1864-1866, and contributed original etchings to the revue L'Artiste between 1863 and 1872. His brief career seems to have been lived very much in his older brother's shadow, yet Léon Jacque was a very accomplished artist in his own right. I wish I knew more about him.
The Pre-Impressionists: Charles Jacque and Léon JacqueMarcel Jacque, La bouillieEtching after Jean-François Millet, date unknown
I would guess the etching above, made  by Marcel Jacque in facsimile of the original 1861 etching by Millet, dates from around the mid-1890s, when Eugène Delâtre commissioned various artists to create loving facsimiles of Millet's etchings, the original plates being no longer available. I'll reproduce more of these when I get round to Millet in this series of posts on the Pre-Impressionists.

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