Edouard Sain E

SAIN Edouard Alexandre
(Cluny, May 13th 1830 – July 27th 1910, Paris).

He is a genre painter. He was a student of François Édouard Picot. His presence in Écouen is noted at the beginning of his career, between 1850 and 1853, the year in which he exhibited for the first time at the Paris Salon.
In 1858, he signed as a witness at the wedding of a man named Gouffé with Rose Silliard, whose friend he was, according to the Écouen civil status document. He painted several rustic scenes in the open air, in a very naturalistic style. A sale at Drouot on December 10, 1910 shows that eight paintings contain the name of the town of Écouen in their title.
I is probably during this stay that he treated an original subject, such as Léon Dansaert‘s Cabaret de Ramponneau aux Percherons.

For further information, please read the book “L’Ecole d’Ecouen, une colonie de peintres au XIXe siècle” (bilingual French-English).

Witness at a wedding
 Edouard Sain
 Excavations in Pompey
Title is unknown
 Lady with mandolin

Amand Gautier E

Amand Désiré GAUTIER (Lille, June 19th 1825 – January 29th 1894, Paris).

Painter and lithographer, he was nicknamed the « painter of nuns ». In Auvers-sur-Oise, he painted Doctor Gachet, of whom he was a friend. Monet considered him as his master. Courbet, another great friend, painted his portrait. There are several letters written by Gautier from Écouen to Jules Troubat, the secretary of Sainte-Beuve (1804-1869). In one of them, in 1880, he wrote: « I have been living a bit like a wolf in Ecouen for the past year ».
Between September 1879 and 1880, he returned to Écouen, where he had painted two canvases sold at Drouot on March 2, 1872: « Interior of a Farm in Écouen » and « a House in Écouen ».

In a difficult family situation, ruined and in debt, he lived in a hotel on rue d’Ézanville. It was also at this time that he began to work in ceramics, for which he had a sponsor in Écouen, Philippe Burty, father-in-law of the famous Haviland. Perhaps he made his first attempts at the Manufacture de Sèvres, whose director was his friend Champfleury (1821-1889).
Moreover, we owe him the frescoes of children painted at the Fournaise house, where Renoir painted « The Boaters’ Lunch ».

For further information, please read the book “L’Ecole d’Ecouen, une colonie de peintres au XIXe siècle” (bilingual French-English).

Amand Gautier by Courbet
 St Vincent of Paul nun
Dr Gachet at ambulances
Preparing work for the painting "The skate"
Three nuns
Meditating nun

Gaylord Sangson Truesdell E

Waukegan (Illinois), June 1st 1850 – June 13th 1899, New York

Gaylord Sangston Truesdell was born on June 1, 1850 in Waukegan, a village located in the northern suburbs of Chicago.
He was a famous American painter who began his career as an engraver.
At the end of 1876, he rented the apartment and studio of Charles Edouard Frère, in Ecouen.
He studied for three years at the Pennsylvania Academy and then, in 1885, returned to France where he worked under the direction of Ernest Meissonier, Fernand Cormon and Pierre Edouard Frère. He lived in Ecouen in 1890 and 1891 in a « rustic cottage » in the shadow of the Château de la Légion d’Honneur and then in the Hotel du Nord. In 1891, he lived at 6 rue de Paris.
A letter addressed to Warren Cram proves his perfect knowledge of French.
He exhibited at several Paris salons between 1886 and 1895. In 1889, he received a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle de Paris and a second class medal in 1892.
In 1892, his painting « Cows by the River » received the first gold medal awarded by the salon to an American painter.
Gaylord Sangston Truesdell painted rural landscapes, often with sheep.

For further information, please read the book “L’Ecole d’Ecouen, une colonie de peintres au XIXe siècle” (bilingual French-English).

 Ecouen under the snow
 Gaylord Truesdell in his workshop - 1894

Herman Alfred Leonard Wahlberg E

Stockholm, February 13th 1834 – October 4th 1906, Tranas (Sweden)

Alfred Wahlberg was born on February 13, 1834, in Stockholm to a painter father and a sculptor mother. After showing an early talent for music, although influenced by his father’s painting, Alfred Wahlberg entered the Royal Academy of Music where he studied piano and clarinet. After his studies, Alfred Wahlberg joined the « Göta Gardes Musikkar » orchestra and gave piano lessons for a living.
After attending the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, in 1857 he moved to Düsseldorf to enter the Kunstakademic. He was a student in the class of Hans Fredrik Gude (1825-1903).
Before returning to Sweden, he traveled to the Netherlands and Belgium to complete his training. Back in Sweden in 1862, he painted his most famous picture « Svenskt insjölandskap fran Kolmarden« , which is exhibited in the National Museum of Art.
He arrived in Paris in 1866 and participated in the World’s Fair the following year. At the 1868 Salon, he exhibited a sunset « View taken on the coast of Bohulän, Sweden » and a moonlight « View taken at Fjällbacka, on the coast of Bohulän« . He won medals at the Paris Salons of 1870 and 1872.
A specialist in Swedish landscapes, he was present at the 1878 World’s Fair where he received a first class medal. He was named Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 1874 and promoted to Officer in 1878.

In 1896, he lived in rue de Paris, in Ecouen.
The famous writer Théophile Gautier (1811-1872) praised him. He was a friend of Pierre Edouard Frère (1819-1886) in Ecouen as well as of Charles François Daubigny (1817-1878) and Léonide Bourges (1838-1909) in Auvers-sur-Oise. His name is found on an etching by Léonide Bourges dedicated to Daubigny.
Almost every summer, Alfred Wahlberg made short trips to Sweden to study nature.
He died on October 4, 1906 in Tranas (Sweden).


For more information, we invite you to read the book « L’Ecole d’Ecouen – une colonie de peintres au XIXe siècle ».

For further information, please read the book “L’Ecole d’Ecouen, une colonie de peintres au XIXe siècle” (bilingual French-English).

Cornelia W. Conant E

CORNELIA W. CONANT (Hamilton, NY. Feb. 12, 1834 – NYC April 4, 1919)

Thomas Jefferson Conant (1802-1891) was, without doubt, the greatest American Hebrew scholar of his time. In 1830 he married Hannah O’Brien Chaplin (1809-1865), an American biblical scholar. She effectively assisted her husband in his Hebrew studies.
They had ten children: Roger, Cornelia (or Caroline), Blandina, Carrie (or Chara), Mary, Susan, Marcia, Thomas, Stillman and John.
Stillman S. Conant (1831-1885 ?) became the editor of Harper’s Weekly Magazine from 1869 until his mysterious death in 1885.
In New York, Cornelia W. Conant received painting instruction successively from Daniel Huntington (1816-1906), Edwin White (1817-1877), Joannes A. Oerthel (1823-1909) and other masters.
She studied for four years in Düsseldorf at the Academic Formulas of Carl W. Hübner (1814-1879). From there she sent an important work called « The sacred lesson » which was exhibited at the Goupil Gallery in New York. It was purchased by Mr. Fletcher Harper Jr. and later shown at the Exhibition of the Art Association.
Very few artists arrived with such preparation to make a study trip to France.
The Harper’s Weekly supplement of June 16, 1881 states: « …Miss Conant has lived several years at Écouen, where Edouard Frère is known to be a reference. His inspiration revealed the genius of his pupil… Probably no other American student who has come to France has ever received such generous and unsectarian instruction… Edouard Frere, Luigi Chialiva, Auguste Schenck and other well-known painters reside in Écouen, a village of 1,296 souls located ten miles north of Paris. The cost of living there is very moderate and the artistic craze remarkably vigorous. »
Cornelia W. Conant resided, with her friend and artist Mary L. Stone, at 7 rue de la Beauvette. Their lovely, devoted employee was a village woman named Fanny.
Cornelia W. Conant returned to the same location on August 1, 1896 accompanied by her two sisters Blandina and Carrie.
During her stay in Écouen, she participated in several Paris Salons, exhibiting:
– in 1878, « The Eve of a National Holiday in America
– in 1879, « Family Life
– in 1880, « The end of history
– in 1882, « In the garden ».
We owe her a double account of her visits to Écouen illustrated by etchings showing the village.
In 1888, Cornelia W. Conant (a watercolor) and Marie L. Stone exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts.
In 1894, she was a member of the committee of the Department of Paintings of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. She exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association and the National Academy of Design.
Her painting « The End of History » was included in the 1905 book « Women Painters of the World« .
A funeral service was held for Cornelia W. Conant at St. Peter Episcopal Church on April 4, 1919, when she was in her 86th year.

For further information, please read the book “L’Ecole d’Ecouen, une colonie de peintres au XIXe siècle” (bilingual French-English).


Henry Bacon E

Haverhill (Massachusetts), 1839 – December 3rd 1912, Cairo (Egypt)

It is not known what exact training Henry Bacon received, but he was deemed competent enough to be the painter-reporter for « Leslie’s Weekly » during the Civil War (1861-1865).
Severely wounded, he arrived in Paris in 1864 and became a student of Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889) and Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). He was one of the first American artists to be admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

He discovered Pont-Aven in 1864 and brought American artists there: this was the beginning of the School.
He lived in Ecouen from 1866 to 1868 to attend the classes of Pierre Edouard Frère (1819-1886). Between 1867 and 1896, he exhibited a total of thirty-one paintings at the Paris Salons including, in 1879, « Burial at sea« . In 1874, he painted a scene of the village of Ecouen under Prussian occupation.

Henry Bacon intended his work primarily for the American market.
From 1880 onwards, Henry Bacon devoted himself mainly to the composition of maritime scenes, while at the same time working as a journalist for the Boston Daily Evening Transcript, for which he reported on various Parisian events, such as the visit of General Grant and the creation of the American Artists Association.
In 1897, Henry Bacon made his first trip to Egypt and, from 1899 on, he took up the habit of residing there in winter. He maintained a correspondence with Luigi Chialiva (1841-1914) and Ferdinand Heilbuth (1826-1889).
Honoré Daumier (1808-1879) offered him his painting « The Kiss« . He then settled in Barbizon. Jean-François Millet (1814-1875) gave him a torso of a young girl which he returned to his widow.

Henry Bacon then left France for London, and gradually abandoned oil painting to devote himself to watercolors.
Victim of a heart attack, Henry Bacon died in Cairo in 1912.
His wife then organized a large posthumous exhibition, consisting mainly of Orientalist paintings done during the last year of his life. This retrospective was shown in many American cities.

For further information, please read the book “L’Ecole d’Ecouen, une colonie de peintres au XIXe siècle” (bilingual French-English).

Washing lady in Etretat