Eugène François Marie Joseph Devéria (French, 1805-1865)

Devéria was born to an aristocratic family in Paris. He submitted his first works to the Paris Salon in 1824 and experienced success with his portrait La Naissance de Henri IV. Devéria’s unfinished sketch Self Portrait with His Family is characterized by a sense of movement and narrative. In the background, a young boy reaches upwards to remove a bust from an upper shelf, while the artist paints and a girl in the foreground writes on the floor, showing the artist’s lively domestic life.

Though Devéria saw early success, his later submissions to the Paris salon would not reach the same acclaim. To make money, he painted wealthy patrons’ portraits. After converting to Protestantism, Devéria was shunned by his family and patrons in Paris and moved to the small village of Pau where he gave drawing lessons and painted visitors.