The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Ernest Delannoy, ??-1860/1870

Nationality: French
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1860/1870
Place of Death:


Ernest Delannoy was an artist.


As an art student in 1858, Delannoy accompanied JW on a sketching tour of Alsace and the Rhineland, JW having been encouraged to etch from nature by his brother-in-law Francis Seymour Haden. After their money ran out in Cologne the two friends walked thirty-five miles to Aix-la-Chapelle, paying their way by drawing portraits, e.g. Prussian portraits (M.282). JW returned with five or six plates and many drawings which resulted in Douze eaux-fortes d'après nature or the 'French Set', which was dedicated to Haden. Delannoy appears in many of JW's drawings, for example as the figure at rest in A la ferme de Maladrie (M.230), A man reclining on a bed (M.231) and Attendant que le linge sèche! Cologne (M.278), images which capture the basic living conditions endured by the young aspiring artists. JW also frequently depicted Delannoy at work sketching, e.g. La Jeunesse à Coblentz (M.269), An artist sketching (M.270) and r.: Succès d'Erneste à Cologne; v.: Tracing of recto (M.271). Delannoy also possibly appears in Barbier à Mayence (M.257), r.: Four men on a boat; v.: Sailor (M.262), Blanchissage à Cologne (M.277), A man seated by a canal (M.285).

Following Delannoy and JW's return to Paris the two men may have shared a studio (#00820). In Paris, possibly in August 1859, JW gave Delannoy a gift of a life-size self-portrait in oil, Portrait of Whistler with Hat (YMSM 23) (#08041). They remained in contact throughout the early 1860s (#08043). In November 1862 Henri Fantin-Latour reported to JW that Delannoy was in Rouen, his mother having just died (#01076). However, by the late 1860s Delannoy and JW saw each other little (#01085). In January 1869 JW wrote to Fantin-Latour, 'I never see Ernest nor Emile Aubert they are nowhere to be found' (#01087). In a letter by JW dating from 1872, he specifically mentioned Delannoy's premature death (#08041).


Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995.