Merry-Joseph Blondel

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Merry-Joseph Blondel
Born Merry-Joseph Blondel
(1781-07-25)25 July 1781
Paris, France
Died 12 June 1853(1853-06-12) (aged 71)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Known for Painting
Movement Neo-Classical

Merry-Joseph Blondel (25 July 1781 – 12 June 1853) was a French Neoclassical painter.

After an initial apprenticeship as a painter with the porcelain manufacturer Dihl et Guerhard, he studied painting in the studio of Baron Jean-Baptiste Regnault. He won the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1803 for his painting of Aeneas Carrying His Father Anchises, but didn’t take his place at the Villa Médicis in Rome until 1809, due to the suspension of scholarships. [1] He remained in Rome from 1809 to 1812. At the salon of 1817, he was awarded a gold medal for his painting The Death of Louis XII. Thereafter, his career was dominated by significant public commissions for paintings and murals to decorate important buildings and Royal palaces, including the Palace of Fontainebleau, the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre Museum, the Brongniart Palace and the Luxembourg Palace.

In 1832 he was elected a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, after which he was also nominated professor at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts.

Merry-Joseph Blondel's 1814 painting La Circassienne au Bain became infamous during the early part of the 20th century for being the subject of the largest claim for financial compensation made against the White Star line, for a single item of luggage lost by a passenger on the RMS Titanic. The painting's owner, Lt. Mauritz Hakan Bjornstrom-Steffanson, a Swedish first class passenger, submitted a claim for $100,000 ($2.4 million equivalent in 2014) for the loss of Blondel's masterpiece.


  1. ^ Barnes, Joanna R., American Federation of Arts, French Oil Sketches and the Academic Tradition, pp. 125

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