Alphonse Monchablon

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Monchablon by an unknown artist (c.1900)
Terror (Portrait of Cain)

Xavier-Alphonse Monchablon (12 June 1835, in Avillers – 30 January 1907, in Paris) was a French history and portrait painter in the Academic style. He was distantly related to the more popular painter, Jan Monchablon.


His father was a teacher and amateur artist, who gave him some of his first lessons. He was also apprenticed to a lithographer in Mirecourt.[1] In 1856, he enrolled at the École des Beaux-arts, where he studied with Sébastien Cornu (1804-1870) and Charles Gleyre. He achieved second-place in the Prix de Rome in 1862 and, the following year, tied for first-place with his painting of Joseph being recognized by his brothers.[1]

He had his début at the Salon in 1866. Throughout his life, he exhibited widely and was awarded several medals, including a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle (1900). He also created numerous religious frescoes; notably those in the crypt at the "Basilique du Bois Chênu" of Domrémy-la-Pucelle, the seminary in Angers and the Eudist chapel at Versailles.

Joseph Being Recognized by his Brothers.

In addition, he executed a mural called the "Glories of Lorraine" for the amphitheater of the Faculty of Letters at the University of Lorraine in Nancy.[2] This was done in response to the German annexation of most of Alsace-Lorraine in 1871.

Among his best-known portraits are those of Prime Minister Louis Buffet, the explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza and the sculptor Ernest-Eugène Hiolle. He is also known for a widely distributed engraving of Victor Hugo.

He became a Knight of the Légion d'Honneur in 1897.[3] His son, Édouard Monchablon [fr], won the Prix de Rome for painting in 1903. His sister was married to the painter William Bouguereau. His daughter, Gabrielle, married the flautist Louis Fleury and was a moderately successful concert pianist.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Brief biography @ the Le Vésinet website.
  2. ^ Obituary from Bulletin des sociétés artistiques de l'Est @ Gallica.
  3. ^ Dossier @ the Base Leonore.

Further reading[edit]

  • Jean-François Michel, "Xavier-Alphonse Monchablon" in Les Vosgiens célèbres. Dictionnaire biographique illustré, Albert Ronsin (ed.) Éditions Gérard Louis, Vagney, 1990 ISBN 2-907016-09-1

External links[edit]

Media related to Alphonse Monchablon at Wikimedia Commons