The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Charles-Philippe Chennevières-Pointel, 1820-1899

Nationality: French
Date of Birth: 1820
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1899
Place of Death:


Charles-Philippe, Marquis de Chennevières-Pointel, was an art administrator, collector, art critic and writer.


Chennevières trained as a lawyer, but in 1846 began work at the royal museums, and in 1852 was appointed inspector of the provincial museums. Until 1869 he was responsible for organizing the annual Salon exhibitions in Paris and in this way came into contact with a great many important artistic figures. It was whilst he held this position that Whistler's etchings Limehouse (K.40), The Pool (K.43) and Rotherhithe (K.66) were accepted but Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38) was rejected by the 1863 Salon.

Chennevières was appointment Assistant Curator at the Louvre in 1857, and then at the Musée du Luxembourg in 1863, being promoted to Curator at the latter in 1867. From 1873 to 1878 he acted as Directeur des Beaux-Arts.

Chennevières also published extensively, contributing, at times under the pseudonym Jean de Falaise, to such reviews as Picardie, Art en province, Revue de Rouen, Moniteur des arts, Artiste, Gazette des beaux-arts, Magasin pittoresque, Revue provinciale and Atheneum français. He founded and ran the Archives de l'art français (1851–60), and in the 1880s wrote his memoirs, an invaluable source of information on the contemporary art world.


Chennevières, C. P., Recherches sur la vie et les ouvrages de quelques peintres provinciaux de l'ancienne France, 4 vols, Paris, 1847-62; Chennevières, C. P., Lettres sur l'art français en 1850, Argentan, 1850; Chennevières, C. P., Observations sur le Musée de Caen et sur son nouveau catalogue, Argentan, 1851; Chennevières, C. P., Essais sur l'organisation des arts en province, Paris, 1852; Chennevières, C. P., Notes de voyage sur l'état actuel des arts en province, Paris, 1852; Chennevières, C. P., 'Souvenirs d'un directeur des beaux-arts', L'Artiste, 1883-89; 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. 2072; Gerbod, Paul, 'Charles-Philippe Chennevières', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 30 August 2002).