Léon-Joseph Chavalliaud

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Léon-Joseph Chavalliaud
Léon Chavalliaud.jpg
A drawing of Léon Joseph Chavalliaud by Tristan de Pyègne
Born (1858-10-30)October 30, 1858
Rheims, France
Died February 5, 1919(1919-02-05) (aged 61)
Boissy-sans-Avoir, France
Nationality French
Known for Sculpture

Léon-Joseph Chavalliaud (29 January 1858 – 5 February 1919) was a French sculptor. He created several notable works in France and in England where he lived for 15 years.[1]

Chavalliaud (sometimes spelt Chavaillaud) was born in Reims at No. 47 Chativesle St. and died at Boissy-sans-Avoir, Yvelines. He is buried in the North Cemetery in Rheims.[1] He married Juliana Marie Rousseau.

He was an apprentice modeller in the workshop of a Mr Bulteau in Rheims, in Buirette St., very close to his place of birth. Later he entered the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts with a grant from the city council. There, he was a pupil of Alexandre Falguière, François Jouffroy and Louis-August Roubaud.[1]

In 1880, after working on the caryatids on the façade of the town hall patio in Rheims he won the ‘Prix de Roma’ with a sculpture called Mère Spartiate (Spartan Mother).[1] The caryatids were partly destroyed in a fire in 1917. The remains of the statues now decorate the front of the Georget Hotel at No. 43 Talleyrand St., Rheims.

In 1890, together with a sculptor Deperthes and his son, Chavalliaud created a monument commemorating the Brittany-Anjou Federation of 1790 which was installed near Morbihan, Pontivy, in Brittany.[2] This was destroyed with dynamite by Breton separatists in 1938[3]

In the 1890s he received a commission in England and remained in Britain for fifteen years living in Brixton, London.[1] During this time he occasionally worked for (or with) Farmer and Brindley, an architectural sculpture company.[4] He also exhibited at the National Gallery Summer Exhibition.[5] and the Walker Gallery in Liverpool.

Amongst the works he completed were eight statues of famous naturalists and explorers. Commissioned in 1896 they stand outside at the eight angles of the Palm House in Sefton Park, Liverpool.[1] The marble statues are of the naturalists; Carl Linnaeus, Charles Darwin, John Parkinson (a botanist) and André le Nôtre (a landscape gardener). The bronze statues are of the explorers and navigators; Henry the Navigator, Gerardus Mercator, Christopher Columbus and Captain James Cook.

A statue of Sarah Siddons in Paddinton Green

He made a memorial to the actress Mrs Sarah Siddons as the Tragic Muse, in white marble which stands on Paddington Green, London near the churchyard of St Mary's Church where she is buried.[1][6] A statue of Cardinal Newman by Chavalliaud is installed at Brompton Oratory in London.

In the salon of the French Artists’ Society in 1897 he presented a statuette of Dom Perignon with an inscription which reads “Dom Perignon, the inventor of sparkling Champagne wines”.[7] It was sold in Rheims in 1989 for £1,097.

In his birth city he continued to produce bust portraits and developed a solid reputation. Among others he created a bust of Dr. Jean-Baptiste Langlet, the then mayor of Rheims, which is kept in the town hall. For that sculpture in plaster in 1915 Chavalliaud received 800 francs.[8]

Further works[edit]

The statue of Captain James Cook at the Palm House, Sefton Park, Liverpool

Exhibited at The Royal Academy of Arts. (Summer Exhibition)[5]

Other works[edit]

A portrait bust of M. Henry Vasnier
  • Tobias Taking the Fish from the Water, kept in the Rheims Museum of Fine Arts. 1890[9]
  • A bronze relief of James Robert Creighton, twice Mayor of Carlisle, and surmounting statue of St George on the Grade II listed Creighton Memorial.[11]
  • A bust of French merchant Henry Vasnier, kept in the Rheims Museum of Fine Arts
  • A memorial bronze bust to Bartèlèmy Paupy, a French industrialist. 1892, In the Cimetière de l’Est, Paris. Signed “from a photograph”.[14]
  • A memorial plaque for Abbé Declaire in the Cimetière du nord, Reims[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Leon Joseph Chavalliaud". Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland. University of Glasgow, History of Art. 2011. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013. 
  2. ^ "Monument commémoratif de la fédération bretonne-angevine de 1790". Archives Nationales. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013.  In French
  3. ^ "Serment des Jeunes Volontaires". La Fédération bretonne-angevine de Pontivy, en 1790. Publications. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013.  In French
  4. ^ "Leon Joseph Chavalliaud". The Victorian Web. 2011. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Royal Academy of Arts; a complete dictionary of contributors and their work from its foundation in 1769 to 1904 (1905)". Internet Archives. 1905. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013. 
  6. ^ Banerjee, Jaqueline (2011). "Sarah Siddons". The Victorian Web. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013. 
  7. ^ "Chavaliaud (M), Leon Joseph". Archives Nationales. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013. 
  8. ^ "Chavalliaud (M). Leon". Archives Nationales. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013.  In French
  9. ^ "Tobie retirant le poisson de l'eau". Archives Nationales. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013.  In French
  10. ^ "Portrait bust of GB Shaw". Artvalue.com. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013. 
  11. ^ "Creighton Memorial". English Heritage. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013. 
  12. ^ "Rev. James Healy". National Gallery of Ireland. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013. 
  13. ^ "Norwich". ref no:NFnrNOR098. University of East Anglia. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013. 
  14. ^ "La Sculture dans las Cimetieres de Paris". French Wikimedia. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013. 
  15. ^ "Le Cimetière du nord". La Vie Rémoise. Retrieved 30 Oct 2013.  In French (two thirds down text on right)

External links[edit]