Detail from The Canal, Amsterdam, 1889, James McNeill Whistler, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow


Ernest Delannoy

Nationality: French
Date of death: 1869/1872
Category: artist


Ernest Delannoy was an artist.


As an art student in 1858, Delannoy accompanied Whistler on a sketching tour of Alsace and the Rhineland, Whistler 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 m0282. Whistler 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 Whistler's drawings, for example as the figure at rest in A la ferme de Maladrie m0230, A man reclining on a bed m0231 and Attendant que le linge sèche! Cologne m0278. Whistler also frequently depicted Delannoy at work sketching, e.g. La Jeunesse à Coblentz m0269, An artist sketching m0270 and r.: Succès d'Erneste à Cologne; v.: Tracing of recto m0271. Delannoy also possibly appears in Barbier à Mayence m0257, r.: Four men on a boat; v.: Sailor m0262, Blanchissage à Cologne m0277, A man seated by a canal m0285.

Following Delannoy and Whistler's return to Paris the two men may have shared a studio (GUW #00820). In Paris, possibly in August 1859, Whistler gave Delannoy a gift of a life-size self-portrait in oil, Portrait of Whistler with Hat y023 (#08041).

They remained in contact throughout the early 1860s (GUW #08043). In November 1862 Henri Fantin-Latour reported to Whistler that Delannoy was in Rouen, his mother having just died (GUW #01076). However, by the late 1860s Delannoy and Whistler saw each other little (GUW #01085). In January 1869 Whistler wrote to Fantin-Latour, 'I never see Ernest nor Emile Aubert they are nowhere to be found' (GUW #01087). In a letter by Whistler dating from 1872, he specifically mentioned Delannoy's premature death (GUW #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 .