The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Jules Husson Fleury, 1821-1889

Nationality: French
Date of Birth: 1821
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1889.12.06
Place of Death:


Jules Husson Fleury ('Champfleury') was a novelist, art historian and critic.


Champfleury adopted his pseudonym in 1844 when he began writing art criticism for L'Artiste. He was among the first art critics to defend the work of Gustave Courbet (see Le Pamphlet, 28 September 1848), Whistler's early mentor, and became one of the chief spokesmen of the Realist movement in art.

Champfleury also wrote Realist novels and short stories, as well as pantomimes and histories of caricature, faience and popular imagery. In 1872 he took up the post of Chief of Collections at the Sèvres manufactory, remaining there until his death.

His portrait appears in Courbet's The Painter's Studio: A Real Allegory (1855; Musée d'Orsay, Paris); Edouard Manet's Music in the Tuileries Gardens (1862; National Gallery, London) and Henri Fantin-Latour's Homage to Delacroix (1864; Musée d'Orsay, Paris) in which Whistler also appears.


Champfleury, Histoire générale de la caricature, 6 vols, Paris, 1865-88; Lugt, Frits, Les marques de collections de dessins et d'estampes: marques estampillèes et écrites de collections particulières et publiques; marques de marchands, de monteurs et d'imprimeurs; etc..., Amsterdam, 1921, no. 441; Lacambre, G. and J. Lacambre (eds), Le Réalisme, Paris, 1973; Weinberg, B., French Realism: The Critical Reaction, New York, 1937; Shapiro, M., 'Courbet and Popular Imagery: An Essay on Realism and Naivete', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol. 4, 1941, pp. 164-91; Flanary, D., Champfleury: The Realist Writer as Art Critic, Ann Arbor, 1980; Clark, T. J., Image of the People, Trenton, 1982; Dolan, Therese, 'Champfleury', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 30 August 2002).