The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Ferdinand Heilbuth, 1816-1889

Nationality: German born, French naturalised
Date of Birth: 1816.06.27
Place of Birth: Hamburg
Date of Death: 1889.11.19
Place of Death: Paris


Ferdinand Heilbuth was a genre and portrait painter. He was the son of a Rabbi and became a naturalised Frenchman in 1876. He was married.


Heilbuth studied in Dusseldorf, Rome and Paris, where he was a pupil of Charles Gleyre. In 1857, 1859 and 1861 he was awarded second class medals, and in 1862 the Légion d'honneur. He exhibited at the Salon from 1863, and in London at the Royal Academy and Grosvenor Gallery from 1871 to 1878.

Heilbuth was a friend of Tissot and his work was much admired by Van Gogh. He and his wife were known for their entertaining at Sunday dinners, and were among those invited to JW's dinner parties in the 1870s (#06890). He was also included in a list by JW that may have been a guest list for the private viewing of his 1874 Pall Mall exhibition or a subscription list for his Venice etchings as envisaged in 1876 (#12714).


Beerbohm, Max, Herbert Beerbohm Tree: Some Memories of Him and his Art, London, 1920; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61.