Brandon, Edouard



Impressionism: partaker of the first ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1874

Édouard Brandon


Depicting Saint-Brigit, contemporary Italians, Jewish believers and more


Was Édouard Brandon an Impressionist?
Édouard Brandon only exhibited at the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1874. He was the teacher of Rouart, was befriended with Degas, de Nittis and probably had some contacts with Legros, Morisot and Félix Bracquemond. For the rest there doesn’t seem to be close contacts with other ‘impressionists’. This makes Brandon more a side-figure within the ‘impressionist’ art-movement.
Brandon depicted many works on Saint-Brigit of Sweden (1303-73), which betrays a neo-classical influence. In several Italian pictures (1856-63ca) his palet is more bright, he rendered the influence of light and even sometimes used blueish shadows, this is before Monet did so in 1869 (R22,CR133). In these works he also depicted every day life. But in many of his paintings Brandon used a lot of browns, blacks and greys. The influence of light is mostly clair-obscure wise. His brushstroke is more loose, not rendering small details. Still, he never used juxta-posed brushstrokes. Typical for Brandon was his rendering of contemporary Jewish, religious life, something Pissarro, also born a Jew, neglected. Overall you can say, that Brandon hardly did paint in an impressionistic style and that he was more a Realist, with some impressionist influence, who also depicted neo-classical themes.


Édouard Brandon at the Salon and other exhibitions:
Brandon debuted at the Salon in 1861 (iR69; iR65;R3;iR1;R87). After his debut, Brandon exhibited yearly from 1863-70. In 1865 he received a medal (of History) at the Salon (iR1;iR69;R87;iR3). Some sources state that in 1867 Brandon received a medal for the ‘Portugese Synagoge at Amsterdam’ (aR1;iR69;iR3). Note: the preface in the posthumous catalogue suggests that both medals were given for retracing the life of Saint-Brigit (aR4) and La Gazette mentions the medals were for genre painting (R259). Maybe Brandon received the 1867 medal because his serie of mural pictures of Sainte-Brigitte, first shown at the Salon of 1865, was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle (R231/iR19). Brandon exhibited ‘exempt’ in 1868 + 69 + 70 (iR1). He didn’t exhibit in 1872 and than again in 1873. Strange is that he didn’t exhibit from 1875-1888. There are also hardly works known from these years. Why was that?
It was only in 1889 that Brandon exhibited at the successor of the Salon, the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français (=SdAF), he did so ‘exempté’ (iR1). In 1890 Brandon  was one of the first members of the ‘Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts‘ (R87;iR1) and exhibited 17 paintings, 8 drawings and 7 watercolours (iR1). According to one source he also exhibited from 1891-97 (iR65), but the Salon database only mentions he exhibited in 1892 (12 paintings and 25 drawings) and also in 1897 (in total 14 catalogues numbers, but several numbers contained various drawings and studies) (iR1). See link for an impression of his pictures exhibited at the Salon and other exhibitions. See link for an account. See also the thematical overview of his pictures.


Édouard Brandon only joined the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition:
At the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition Brandon showed at least 6 works, I assume it were 10 (catalogue numbers 29-32bis) (R2,p119), including 2 oil paintings, 2 drawings and at least 2 watercolours, I assume even 6. Brandon was just shortly mentioned by a few art-critics, some writing that Brandon was more a Salon-painter. Castagnary wrote that ‘Jewish customs is the focus of his work’ (R90I,p16;R87,p232).
Brandon was invited by Degas (R9;R3;R88;iR3). Three of the works Degas exhibited in 1874 were owned by Brandon (R2,p120;R9;R87;R88;iR3).
See link for an impression of his pictures exhibited in 1874. See link for an account. See also the thematical overview of his pictures.


Édouard Brandon as a painter:
When Brandon was 7 years old his knee was severely injured, which made him for 2 years to come, to copie old masters (aR6). Brandon was a pupil of Montfort, Picot and later on Corot (R88;iR1;aR4;R259;iR13;iR24; iR69;R9;R16;R87). More precise Antoine-Alphonse Montfort was his teacher from 1844-47 (aR6;R9,p538;iR3; note: also written as ‘Monfort’; R88). 1847 onwards he became the pupil of Françoise-Édouard Picot (aR6;R9,p589;iR3). Le Gaulois described: ‘Brandon took a small studio with his friend Alfred Mouillard and made his first inventive painting. He painted a portrait of Sardou; he painted the four seasons on a garden box for his mother; he executed a large drawing for the Sisters of Charity representing the Triumph of Religion and the charitable acts of the Daughters of Saint Vincent de Paul.’ (aR6) Brandon entered the École des Beaux-Arts 1849/04/05 (iR3;R88;aR7;iR69;iR65;R9;R3;R16;R87). Corot is called his teacher 1865 onwards (iR1;R259;aR7;aR9;iR65;R9), they remained close and corresponded frequently till Corot died in 1875 (iR3;R87;aR7). The first contacts probably were made before 1851 and in company of Léon Fleury (aR6;iR23). Corot wrote Brandon in 1856 to bring back from Italy, women’s costumes from Albano (R88). Brandon made a drawing of Corot painting in the open, which is now in the Louvre (R92,p16).
In 1851 Brandon met in Nice Paul Delaroche, who stimulated him to go to Italy to see the old masters (aR6). Brandon went to Rome, met Alaux and Lenepveu and ‘was especially fascinated by the Aldobrandine Wedding, frescoes from the time of Augustus, and by the Madonna of the Donee, that inimitable masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci.’ (aR6) Le Gaulois suggests that this ’trip was of little duration’ (aR6). Whereas other sources claim Brandon stayed in Rome from 1856-63 (iR69;iR24;iR65;R92,p16;R88;aR7), including the Salon database, see SNBA-1897-177 (iR1). In Rome Brandon decorated the walls of the oratorio / chapel of Saint-Bridget (1303-1373) (iR65;R92,p16;R90II,p5;R88), on the Piazza Farnese, see also SNBA-1897-177 (iR1;iR3). He exhibited prepatory drawings and watercolours at the Salon of 1861 untill 1869 (R88;iR1). At the Salon Brandon received a medal for the decoration of the Sainte-Brigitte chapel in Rome (R92,p16;R87).

In Rome Brandon had a pupil called Fra-Ippolito ‘Friar Minor of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi, my helper and painter’s apprentice in Rome from 1856 to 1863, when I decorated, painted and sculpted the oratory of St. Bridget. Convent of the Holy Cross of Mons in Rome, Piazza Farnese.’ (SNBA-1897-177; iR1). In Rome Brandon met Degas, they became friends (R3;R88;aR7;R87), which stopped maybe with the Dreyfuss affair (aR9). Degas would make a portrait of Brandon his father (R87;R88). They collected each others works (iR3;aR9). In Italy, in the late 1850s Brandon also befriended with Gustave Moreau (aR9). Note: Corot was not in Italy when Brandon was there from 1856-63 (R222,p164).
Le Gaulois also describes: ‘On his return to Paris, he studied anatomy assiduously; he copied the works of Poussin, Rembrandt, Giorgione, Terburg and Rubens. He then painted a beautiful portrait of his mother, a scene from the religious life of the Jews: “the reading of the Torah” (laws of Moses).’ (aR6).
Brandon became a teacher for other artists, including Henri Rouart (iR3), whom he also introduced to Corot (R92,p23+129). In the posthumous Rouart collection, there also was a portrait of Brandon made by Bouguereau in 1857 (iR13).
Around 1867 Brandon admired 3 little paintings of de Nittis made in Naples and assisted to sell them to the art-dealer Goupil (R264,p403). Brandon was also befriended with the Halévy family (R88). In 1882 Brandon bought a pastel of Morisot (see 1IE-1874-109) (R87;R88). In 1892 Brandon dedicated a painting to his friend Puvis de Chavannes; they had a long association and each owned several works by the other (aR8=iR14).
From 1893 till his death in 1912 Henri Rouart frequently stayed with a Mme Brandon in La Commanderie in Ballan-Miré, where he also decorated hospice hall (R92,p138), which lies just south of Tours and about 250km south-west of Paris (iR9). It unclear if this Mme Brandon is the wife of Édouard Brandon.
Brandon painted many religious scenes (of Jewish life) (R3;R9;R92,p16;R87;R88;aR4;iR3), in a realistic and conscientious style (R88), emphasizing the importance of schooling and religious instruction within Jewish life (aR7=iR14). He also painted historical scenes (R9;R88) and neo-classical themes (iR1). Brandon painted in a realist style rendering the effects of light (R3). But not in an impressionistic style (R9). His style and his subjects had little affinity with the Impressionists (R88). But Spertus claims: ‘The influence of Impressionism can be observed in this painting’s muted color palette and attention to the play of light and shadow.’ (aR11). See also the thematical overview of his pictures.


Édouard Brandon was a collector of art:
Édouard Brandon also was a small collector of art (aR4;R9;R88). Three of the works Degas exhibited in 1874 were owned by Brandon (R2,p120;R9;R87;R88). In 1882 Brandon bought a pastel of Morisot (see 1IE-1874-109) (R87;R88). These works were not in the posthumous auction sale 1897/12/13+14 (aR4;iR3).
At this auction there were about 40 works sold made by other artists (no.86-116 = 31 catalogue numbers; iR65), many of them were studies, watercolours and drawings and just a single painting (aR4), so you can’t say that Brandon had a large collection. This collection included  16 works of his teacher Montfort and also some studies made by Corot in Italy (aR4). It included also a drawing made by Legros: Portrait of a litte girl holding her doll (no.96), which was soled for 95fr (aR4). There were also about 133 etchings sold (no.117-147), including 44 made by Rembrandt, 1 by Bracquemond (no.122, The geese) and 7 by Legros (no.132bis). Among the furniture, bronzes and copper (no.148-176), there were also Hebrew prayer books (no.174). (aR4;iR65). Some of the works sold are now in the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme in Paris (iR3).
Besides works of other artists, there were also 85 of his own works sold (58 paintings and 27 drawings and watercolours), including preparatory drawings on Saint-Brigit, see no.44+46+59+60+61+72 (aR4;R90II,p5;iR65). See also the thematical overview of his pictures and owning each others works.

A discription of Édouard Brandon in Le Gaulois:
In ‘Le Gaulois‘ of 1874/11/10 there was a discription of Édouard Brandon and his studio (aR6). Brandon was described as such: ‘The painter is dressed in a long green dress, with large folds, tightened at the waist by a silk belt. The face, with regular features, is surrounded by a large black, curly beard; the forehead, wide and high, stands out under an abundance of naturally curly hair; the head is covered with a pointed cap of astrakhan. This oriental custom, this grave, gentle, melancholy physiognomy, reminds us of the Jews praying at the tomb of Solomon, so well rendered by Bida. Brandon is all over his model, a young transterranean woman who has given birth to her child.’ His studio is decribed as such: ‘The studio is in incredible disarray. Large easels support sketched compositions; the walls are covered with finished works; the tables and furniture are loaded with sketches and and drawings; a monumental organ rises in a corner.’ Than a short biography is given, which I partly use on this page. Here I like to mention that Le Gaulois describes him as ‘a fervent Israelite’, who did his Bar-mitswa at 13. Still, to console the mother of his dying friend Binnet, Brandon read from the gospels. (aR6)


Jacques Émile Édouard Pereijra Brandon, short biography:

  • 1831/07/03: Brandon was born in Paris (aR4;iR24;iR69;R3;R16;R87;R88); other sources suggests he was born in Bordeaux or Lisbon (iR3;aR11).
  • He was also named: Jacob-Emile-Edouard-Pereyra Brandon (iR24; iR65;R3;aR4), and also Edouard-Emile-Pereyra (R88), and Émile-Édouard Péreira (aR7=iR14) and also Pereijra (SNBA-1897; iR1).
  • Édouard Brandon was born to a whealthy Sephardic Jewish family (aR7=iR14;aR9;iR3)
    Some sources mention he was the son of a Parisian art-dealer (aR9;iR3)
  • The family had a synagogue in Bayonne, in the Pyrenees (aR9).
  • 1856-63: Brandon stayed in Rome, see above
  • 1861-63: Brandon lived Paris, rue Saint-Georges, 58 (iR1)
  • 1864-70: Brandon lived in rue Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, 44, Paris (iR1); and still 1870/04 (R259). Here he lived with the Irish artist Nathaniel Hone the younger (iR3).
  • 1866: painted in Amsterdam, see also SNBA-1890-133+134 (iR24;iR1)
  • Brandon was a teacher of Édouard Moyse and Alphonse Lévy (aR1)
  • 1870-74: Brandon lived at rue d’Amsterdam, 77, Paris (iR1;R2,p119)
  • 1874: Brandon joined the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition (R2,p119)
  • 1889: Brandon lived at 22, rue de Saint-Quentin, Paris (iR1)
  • 1890: Brandon dwelled at 22, rue de Saint-Quentin and also at(iR1)
  • 1890-97: In 1890 Brandon dwelled at 15, villa des Arts, impasse Hélène, Paris; in 1892 this is called 29, rue Hégésippe-Moreau (cité des Beaux-Arts), Paris and in 1897 this is called ’15, rue Hégésippe-Moreau, Villa des Arts, pavillon I’ (iR1); probably this is the same address or at least within the same residence, where there were 47 studios, where many other painters also had dwelled, including Renoir, Cézanne and Signac (aR17;iR9).
  • 1892: Brandon also dwelled at 4, rue des Charettes, Rouen (iR1). At the SNBA he exhibited a work titled ‘A look through my studio, in Rouen.’ (iR1) Note: early 1892 + 93 Monet painted closeby in Rouen his famous serie of the Catheadral (R22); did they have contact?
  • 1892: Brandon painted again in Amsterdam, see SNBA-1897-171 (iR1)
  • 1897/05/20: Brandon died in Paris (iR24; iR69;R3;R16;iR3)
  • 1897/12/13+14: posthumes auction at Hôtel Drouot, see above (aR4).
  • His paintings can be found in musea in Anvers, Avignon and Lille (iR65) and in several other musea.

Édouard Brandon is hardly mentioned in sources:
Many sources on Impressionism don’t mention Brandon at all (R4;R5;R6;R8;R19;R21;R86;R94;R95). Rewald mentions him just 1x (R1,p316). Adler (wrongly) mentions that he exhibited etchings in 1874, she renders one etch, but further doesn’t mention him (R89,p31+no34). My main sources are Moffett (R2), Schurr & Cabanne (R9,p123), Walther (R3,p650), Spies (R16,p81), Adhémar (R87,p232), Monneret (R88I,p79), the Salon database (iR1), Wikipedia (iR3), mutualart (iR11), artnet (iR13), Sothebys (iR14), Invaluable (iR17), Joconde (iR23), RKD (iR24), BNF (iR26)askart (iR41), Lugt (1921=iR65), Bénézit (iR69) and the additional references mentioned below (=aR). For other general references (=R) see. My main sources (for the pictures) from the internet are Wikimedia (iR6) and Google images (iR10). For other references to internet sites (=iR) see. See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.

Additional references:

  1. Vanished Impressionists 4 (article at the eclecticlight = iR35)
  2. “Edouard Brandon.” In Database of Modern Exhibitions (DoME). European Paintings and Drawings 1905-1915. Last modified Aug 17, 2019.  =iR261; overview of contributions of Brandon in exhibitions and auctions from 1905-1915 (1 entry)
  3. 1912, “Sommaire des Peintures et Sculptures de l’École Contemporaine exposées dans les Galeries du Musée National du Luxembourg.” In Database of Modern Exhibitions (DoME). European Paintings and Drawings 1905-1915. Last modified Nov 25, 2020.  =iR261;iR40; including 1 painting by Brandon
  4. (posthumous catalogue of the 1897/12/13+14 sale of works of Brandon and of his collection, with a short preface; =iR19) (the same catalogue on gallica = iR40)
  5. (Catalogue of the exhibition of Société des amis des arts 1864/05/15 – 07/07 in Strasbourg, with 3 works by Brandon; =iR40)
  6. (a discription of Brandon and his studio and a short biography in Le Gaulois  of 1874/11/10; =iR40)
  7. (a short biography of Brandon; =iR14)
  8. (a remark on his friendship with Puvis de Chavannes; = iR14)
  9. (article on Brandon due to an exhibition in Boston)
  10. (works of Brandon at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire Judaïsme in Paris)
  11. (short biography of Brandon)
  12. (works of Brandon in the Jewish Museum in New York)
  13. Woordenlijst van het Jodendom. Nijkerk, 1988. (A book on Jewish rituals and habits)
  14. Rabbijn S.PH. de Vries Mzn.: Joodse riten en symbolen. Amsterdam / Antwerpen, 1996. (A book on Jewish rituals and symbols)
  15. (webpage on a fresco made by Lorenzo Lotto in 1523/4 about the life of St. Brigid in the Suardi Chapel, Trescore, Italy. It gives an impression of the decoration of the walls Brandon did in the St. Brigid Chapel in Rome); see also Wikimedia = iR6 and Wikipedia = iR5.
  16.  (webpage on St. Brigid with photo’s from the convent)
  17. (webpage about this building with 47 studios, where Brandon, Cézanne, Renoir, Signac and many other artists did dwell)



Recommanded citation: “Impressionism: Partaker of the first ‘impressionist’ exposition: Edouard Brandon; Depicting Saint-Brigit, contemporary Italians, Jewish believers and more. Last modified 2023/12/31.”