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biography of Louis Dominique DEVELLE (c.1799-1868)

Birth place: Paris, France

Death place: New Orleans, LA

Addresses: New Orleans, active 1829-68

Profession: Scenic, panoramic, and decorative painter, teacher

Studied: Pierre Luc Charles Ciceri, Paris

Exhibited: 95 St. Charles, N.O., 1847; St. Louis Exchange, N.O., 1849

Comments: Born Dominique Louis Grand-Jean Filbert but he changed the surname to Develle (his father's professional alias). As a young man, he worked as decorative painter in the Cathedral at Rheims (France) in preparation for the coronation of Charles X (1824), and for several years after worked as scenic painter for the theater at Le Havre. About 1829 he accepted an invitation to come to New Orleans as a scene-painter for the Orleans Theatre. He worked at that theatre for over 30 years achieving considerable recognition for his scenic work (the theater burned down in 1866). Other projects included a sketching trip with Joseph Auguste De Chatillon (see De Chatillon) to Rio Grande for the purpose of gathering sketches for a large battle painting (Battle of Resaca de la Palma") which was exhibited with great fanfare in New Orleans in 1847 and 1849. During the Civil War, Develle worked at other theaters in New Orleans and in 1864 decorated the proscenium for the Academy of Music. Among his pupils was the panoramist, Leon Pomarede (c. 1830, see entry). Also known as Dominique Louis Grand-Jean Filbert, or J. Deville.

Sources: G&W (listed as J. Develle) Revue Louisianaise, I (1846), 22-23; Delgado-WPA cites Louisiana Courier, March 24, 1829, Feb. 26, 1833, and Dec. 12, 1842, New Orleans Bee, Nov. 18, 1830, July 30, 1836, and New Orleans CD 1830, 1832, 1835, 1837, 1843, 1846; Arrington, Nauvoo Temple, Chapt. 8 (MS). See also Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists, 109-10 (cites numerous newspaper references)."


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