André Henri Dargelas was a student of François Edouard Picot (1786-1868) at the Paris Beaux-Arts School starting in April 6, 1854. In 1850, the art expert John Ruskin wrote a very enthusiastic chronicle concerning the sentimental visions of the Childhood, increasing the demand for the André Henri Dargelas artworks on the English market. In 1857, André Henri Dargelas exhibits for the first time at the Paris Arts Exhibition and did it for several times after.
The theme of childhood innocence is the major subject of his work.
André Henri Dargelas is loved for his accurate observation full of good humour, malice and sentimentality. Spirit of this time is particularly sensitive to simples qualities of the domestic life. His work is greatly admired and can be found in a lot of English and American collections.
The realist movement starts in France at the beginning of the nineteenth century, in reaction against the great historical subjects of the earlier centuries. Artworks are showing sceneries of the common life. André Henri Dargelas, like Pierre Edouard Frère and Paul Seignac have chosen this theme, most of all, for the coolness of Childhood. The one of classroom was very much appreciated. These works are promoting the idea of mass education importance.
André Henri Dargelas is the son of Jean Baptiste Dargelas and Jeanne Virginie Mimandre. In February 2nd 1866, is established a marriage contract in front of notary, and on February 10th, he is married to Catherine Etienne Gabrielle Duverger, born in Bordeaux on January 9 1846. At that time, he becomes the son in law of the famous painter Théophile Emmanuel Duverger. The same year, he leaves Sarcelles and settles down in Ecouen, 9 rue de la Beauvette (Beauvette street) where his three daughters will be born.
The 1870 war forces him to leave Ecouen, being a refugee with his family in Bordeaux (as well as his father in law, the painter Théophile Emmanuel Duverger). Both of them requested a passport to go to Spain and England. They came back to Ecouen after the departure of the Prussian troops.
Visible today, at the beginning of the Ecouen Jacques-Yvon street, the house of André Henri Dargelas is standing there with its double entrance flight of steps and its large workshop glass window.
André Henri Dargelas made donation of one of his paintings at the City of Ecouen.