The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Julius Garibaldi Melchers, 1860-1932

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1860.08.11
Place of Birth: Detroit
Date of Death: 1932.11.30
Place of Death: Falmouth


Julius Gari(baldi) Melchers was a genre, portrait and landscape painter. He was the son of the Westphalian sculptor Julius Theodore Melchers (1829-1909).


Melchers studied at the Königliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf under Eduard von Gebhardt and Peter Janssen, and in Paris at the Académie Julian and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre. In 1884 he settled in Egmond-aan-den-Hoef in Holland and shared a studio in Egmond-aan-Zee with the American painter George Hitchcock. He also worked in Germany and America.

Melchers' early paintings were influenced by Max Liebermann and Fritz von Uhde in their peasant subject matter and use of bright natural light, e.g. The Sermon (1886; Washington, DC). He received a honorable mention at the 1886 Salon, a 3rd class medal in that of 1888 and the Grand Prix in 1889. During the 1890s he began to paint murals, influenced by the Symbolist work of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. He also came under the influence of the Impressionists. He was a member of Les XX and exhibited with the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, a society that formed in 1898 with JW as its President. In 1896 he was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur and the Carnegie Prize in 1927.


Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Dreiss, Joseph G., 'Julius Gari Melchers', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 08 December 2003).