John James Chalon (1778-1854)
'A Water Party'
Oil on Canvas 54cms by 63cms
Signed and dated lower right 1836.
Friday 9th July 1943, Ancient and Modern Pictures and Drawings sale, Lot 121 –– sold for 12 pounds, 1 shilling and 16 pence.
(Stencil 675 HE)
Friday 2nd February 1945, Ancient and Modern Pictures and Drawings sale, Lot 40 –– sold for 10 guineas.
(Stencil 924 HL)
This painting was thought to be of Garrick’s Temple on the Thames at Hampton. Research shows this was not the case, though Chalon painted Thames views including a view from Richmond Hill and Thames views at Richmond. This work skilfully combines landscape and genre, the scene is set in the foreground at start of a colourful party, a sweeping view of the Thames and a pastoral scene in the background. The sky has a slightly ominous overtone.
Born Geneva Switzerland 1778 of a French Hougenot family Chalon was brought to England with his family at an early age, his father had secured a position as professor of French at the Military Academy in Sandhurst in 1789. His younger brother Alfred Edward was also a successful artist.
In 1789 he entered the Royal Academy School and exhibited there between 1801 and 1854, 86 works are recorded as being exhibited. He was made ARA in 1823 and RA in 1854.
He also exhibited 48 works at the British Institute during his career. The British Institute (1806-1867) was in Pall Mall established as a rival to the Royal Academy.
He was not a prolific artist spending much of his early years teaching, there are works by Chalon in the Yale Centre for British Art USA, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Maritime Museum Greenwich, British Museum, and Birmingham City Art Gallery.