The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Pierre-Victor Galland, 1822-1892

Nationality: French
Date of Birth: 1822.07.15
Place of Birth: Geneva
Date of Death: 1892.11.30
Place of Death: Paris


Pierre Victor Galland was a French painter, the son of a goldsmith, Jacques Galland.


Although Galland entered the studio of Henri Labrouste in order to study architecture, Labrouste encouraged him to turn his attention to decorative painting. Therefore Galland sought training under the decorative painter Michel-Martin Drolling. In 1851 he received his first independent commission to decorate the interior of a palace in Constantinople (now destroyed). In 1854 he began designing tapestries for the Gobelins factory in Paris. From 1856 to 1872 he made his reputation decorating the interiors of private houses in France and abroad. In 1873 he began to teach the decorative arts at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

His work which emphasised the subordination of painting to the architectural whole and the simplification of colour and modelling, bears similarities to the mural paintings of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. His most important decorative scheme, Glorification of Work (1881-91; Galerie des Métiers, Hôtel de Ville, Paris), attests to his belief in alliance of the decorative and fine arts.

He was a friend of Whistler for a long time, and Whistler was deeply grieved at his death in 1892.


De Gary, M.-N., Le Flore et l'ornement: Dessins de P. V. Galland, 1822-1892, Paris, n.d.; Duplessis, G., 'La Peinture décorative de P. V. Galland', Revue des arts décoratifs, vol. 1, 1880-81, pp. 65-76; Havard, H., L'Oeuvre de P. V. Galland, 1822-1892, Paris, 1895; Aquilino, Marie Jeannine, 'P(ierre) V(ictor) Galland', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 1 March 2002).