Oil On Canvas Painting by Charles Allen Duval (French 1810 - 1872)
"Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing of Crime" signed "C. Duval" and inscribed "D' Apres Prud'hon".
Size: 49 3/4 x 63 3/4 in.
Charles Allen Duval, often spelled duVal or Du Val, (19 March 1810 - 14 June 1872), was a well-known Victorian portrait painter, photographer, literary critic, illustrator and writer. He played a large role within the city of Manchester's thriving art scene, including the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, the Manchester City Art Gallery and the Art Treasures Exhibition, Manchester 1857: a scene which was underpinned by Manchester's industrial entrepreneurs and politicians who all flocked to his studio to have their portraits painted. Duval was born in Beaumaris, Anglesey on 19 March 1810. His parents were Edward Octavius Caesar Wall duVal and Sarah Eskildson After some time at sea he started his artistic career in Liverpool. He married Elizabeth Renney in both Liverpool 1833 and Manchester 1834. They had nine children, two of whom; Edward and Gerald, became artists. Gerald's daughter Bessie Du Val also painted and illustrated books. His eldest son, Charles became a photographer and partner in his father's business, Messrs. C. A. Duval & Co., Exchange Street, Manchester. The firm was established in the 1860s and remained in business for forty years.
Duval had studios in Liverpool, Manchester and London. In 1831 he sent his work to Liverpool Academy of Arts from the following address: 51 Lime Street, Liverpool and in 1832; 26 Russell Street, Liverpool. He also opened a studio on the Isle of Man where he spent his summers.
In 1833 Duval left Liverpool and moved to Manchester where his address was 74 York Street Manchester though he was still listed in the Liverpool Directory in 1841 at the same address as a Sara Duval. In 1842 - 24 Carlton Terrace, Greenheys, Manchester became the family home. He was employed by Messrs. Agnew & Zanetti, Art Dealer (later known as Thomas Agnew & Sons.)
In Manchester he founded the Art Academy, a society for holding annual exhibitions with the idea of establishing a permanent public gallery, and was its president for many years. Eventually his idea took permanent form in the rooms of the Royal Manchester Institution.
He was one of the first members to be elected to the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts in 1859 and was also one of the first members of the Brasenose Club along with Charles Halle and Edwin Waugh.
His colleague Alfred Darbyshire described Duval entering the Brasenose Club in the following way: "That distinguished looking man just entered the room, with the Scotch plaid around him, and in the act of removing his black sombrero, is C A Duval, the artist and fashionable portrait painter of the period.". Duval was also a member of the Portico Library, the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, the Manchester Athenaeum and for a time he was President of the Manchester Chess Club.
The first circular announcing the formation of the Manchester Etching Club contained the signatures of Sir Charles Halle, Alfred Waterhouse, Sir Henry Roscoe, Samuel Pope, Charles J J Hitchman, Edwin Waugh, H F Blair, Sir John Holker, Duval the painter and H M Acton.
He exhibited two pictures in the prestigious Art Treasures Exhibition, Manchester 1857 (429) 'Forgotten Vows' and (436) 'Recalled to Memory' and a portrait (643) of John L Kennedy in the Royal Jubilee Exhibition, Manchester 1887.
Duval exhibited for thirty-six years at the Royal Academy, London (1836-1872.) He was painting a family portrait in Alderley Edge when he was suddenly taken ill and he died at Bollin Fee, Nr. Wilmslow Cheshire on 14 June 1872.
The Dictionary of National Biography states "His portraits are good likenesses, and have considerable artistic merit particularly his chalk studies of children... All his work was marked by great taste and beauty."
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