Dimensions : H. 21.7 x W. 14.6 inches (With frame: H. 28.7 x W. 21.7 inches)
Delphin Enjolras was born on May 13, 1857, in Coucouron (Ardèche, France).
From a very early age, he demonstrated great aptitude for drawing.
In 1882, he left home to go to the boarding school Notre-Dame-de-France, in Puy-en-Velay for three years. During this time, he continued to study drawing.
After his time at boarding school, he decided to go to the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His master at the institution was the famous painter and sculptor Gérôme. Enjolras also became the student of the watercolorist Gaston Gérard at the écoles de dessin de la Ville de Paris.
Upon finishing his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts, he was offered a position as a drawing teacher at the lycée of Grenoble. He turned down the offer and preferred to embrace a career as a professional painter.
In the 1890's he moved to Midi, where he began to incorporate pastel to several of his portraits of aristocratic ladies. He found that the medium captured feminine elegance the best.
His mastery of pastels, which are rich in color and luminosity, earned him the nickname "painter of reflections". He was also nicknamed light of the lamp, flame of the hearth, and the glow of illuminations. Enjolras became rapidly successful in France and overseas.
He also exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français, where he became an associate in 1901.
Delphin Enjolras was a prolific artist and most famous for his watercolors and pastels. His specialty was painting images of young women who were often going about their quotidian activities.
A journalist writing about Enjolras' artwork in 1900 said, "The compositions of Enjolras, notable for their charm as well as their coloration, grant an impression of freshness and youthfulness which only he can produce, and which are favorable to those who love impeccable forms and beauty."
He died in December 1945 at 81 years old.
Our pastel is illustrative of the talent of the artist. In this pastel, there are two sources of light: the first is coming from the window on the right and the second is coming from the lamp which occupies the central area of the composition. The reflection of both light sources on the young woman's skin is beautifully rendered and accentuates her grace. Our pastel is in a very good state of conservation.
Marseille, Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée (MuCem)
Le Puy en Velay
E. Bénézit, édition Gründ, Tome V, pages 133-134.
Gérald Schürr, Les petits maîtres de la peinture, Éditions de l'amateur, 1989.