Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux

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Photograph by Adolphe Dallemagne, from the studio of Nadar

Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux (3 April 1815, Paris – 8 November 1884, Paris) was a French artist and illustrator, known primarily as a battle painter.

Life and works[edit]

He was born in Paris, France, studied art at the studio of Léon Cogniet,[1] and first exhibited his work at the Paris Salon of 1833.[1]

Lamartine rejects the Red Flag before the Hôtel de Ville, depicting the 1848 Revolution

One of his best-known works was a depiction of the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War,[2][3] painted in the form of a cyclorama, a type of large panoramic painting on the inside of a cylindrical platform designed to provide a viewer standing in the middle of the cylinder with a 360° view of the painting. Viewers surrounded by the panoramic image are meant to feel as if they are standing in the midst of a historic event or famous place.

Philippoteaux also produced a large number of works chronicling the rise and successes of Napoleon Bonaparte, including a portrait of Napoleon in his regimental uniform and a group of paintings of French victories in the Napoleonic Wars. Philippoteaux was awarded the Légion d'honneur in 1846.[1][4]

Philippoteaux's son Paul Philippoteaux was also an artist; both were famous for their production of cycloramas. Father and son collaborated on The Defence of the Fort d'Issy in 1871. They also collaborated on a cyclorama of the Battle of Gettysburg that became a celebrated work in the United States:

"One cyclorama, however, halted the slide in popularity, and almost single-handedly revived the public's interest in the medium for another decade...this singular creation was initially painted in 1882-83 by Henry F. Philippoteaux and Paul Philippoteaux, a father and son team of French artists...within a year, half a million people had stood before it."[5]

Father and son enhanced the artistic effect of their cylindrical painting by adding a third dimension, including elements of diorama placed in front of the painting, and by incorporating sections of walls and battlefield objects that blended into the painted parts of the presentation.[6]

He died in 1884 and his obituary in the New York Times appeared on November 10, 1884.[1]

Partial list of works[edit]

  • Les Gentilshommes du Duc d'Orléans
  • The Iceberg, Episode of the Wars of America (1833)
  • The Retreat from Moscow (1835)
  • The Capture of Ypres (1837)
  • Death of Turenne
  • The Siege of Antwerp in 1792
  • Colonel Fr. Ponsonby rescued on the battlefield of Waterloo, by a French Officer
  • They are in our House (1880)
  • The Periwinkle
  • The Deception
  • The Blade of Grass
  • The Return from the Dram-shop (1853)
  • The Battle of the Raab
  • The Passage of the Tagliamento
  • The Siege of Antwerp in 1832


  1. ^ a b c d "Death of a French Painter" (PDF). The New York Times. November 10, 1884.
  2. ^ "The Panorama of a battle. The picture of the Siege of Paris" (PDF). The New York Times. September 17, 1882. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  3. ^ Panorama of the Siege of Paris (by Philippoteaux) exhibited in Los Angeles Archived 2009-06-18 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Viardo, Louis. The Masterpieces of French Art Vol I. Ed. WM. A. ARMSTRONG. PHILADELPHIA: GEBBIE & CO., Publishers. 1883., p. 70. [1]
  5. ^ Sokalski, JA (2007). Pictorial illusionism: the theater of Steele MacKaye. McGill Queens University Press. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-7735-3204-5.
  6. ^ Sokalski, p. 134

External links[edit]