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Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye

June 28 – October 4, 2015

West Building Main Floor,

National Gallery of Art

Other Venues: 

Kimbell Art Museum, 

Fort Worth, Texas

November 8, 2015 – February 14, 2016

Overview: Caillebotte (1848–1894) was among the most critically noted impressionist artists during the height of their activity in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Some 45 paintings from 1875 to 1882—the period in which Caillebotte was fully engaged with the impressionist movement—will provide a focused understanding of the provocative character and complexity of his artistic contributions, from spectacular images of the new public spaces designed by Baron Haussmann to visual meditations on leisure-time activities in and around Paris.

Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth

Sponsors: The Exhibition is made possible through the leadership support of the Leonard and Elaine Silverstein Family Foundation.

The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation also provided generous support.

Additional funding is kindly given by Count and Countess de La Haye St. Hilaire.

The Exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/exhibitions/2015/gustave-caillebotte.html


Gustave Caillebotte was a 3rd cousin to Paul de Launay (my grandfather) and Paul Valpinçon. The latter two (the two Pauls) were 2nd cousins to each other. Paul Valpinçon was the lifelong friend of Edgar Degas mentioned in the art history books, and it was through Valpinçon whom Degas was introduced to Caillebotte, and through whom the two met Ingres….and thus began the era of French Impressionism.

178 km west of Paris, on a vast and grand French estate in Normandie which remained in our family for 152 years, next to the Chateau there is an art studio that my cousin, Paul Valpinçon, built for his lifelong dear friend, Edgar Degas. It was built with a large window so that Degas could paint during inclement weather. This was the vast estate of the Valpinçon family chateau (French castle), and originally spanned over 250 acres. The property was originally purchased by René Valpinçon (Paul de Launay’s grand uncle), in 1822, and it remained in our family until 1974. The current owner was very instrumental in having the estate designated a French historical landmark just a few years ago.

Paul de Launay’s paternal grandmother was Marie Valpinçon, sister of René Valpinçon.

Today this estate is about half of its original size, as each time it is sold, French law allows farmers to buy the acreage they are renting to farm. Other physical changes are a water fountain in the front of the main house, and a metal Russian coat of arms of a recent owner is now bolted over the original Valpinçon coat of arms which are over both the back and main entrances.

Both Paul & Marguerite Valpinçon died on the estate, Paul on 13 Oct 1894, and Marguerite on 7 Oct 1898. The chateau passed to Paul Valpinçon’s son Henri, who never married. Although Paul Valpinçon’s daughter, Hortense, was alive and well when Henri died on 28 Oct 1942, the chateau passed to a male cousin, a grandson of Paul Valpinçon’s brother, as was the French custom. Hortense’s only son, Raymond Paul Édouard Fourchy, had already died prematurely on 7 Dec 1937, at the age of 48.

Paul Valpinçon, his wife Marguerite, and their children, Henri and Hortense, were all painted and/or drawn by Degas. There are also several paintings of the interior of the chateau by Degas. Degas remained a close friend of the Valpinçon family, especially Hortense until his death on 27 Sep 1917.

Renoir painted the “Children of Martial Caillebotte” (Jr. – although not really a Jr., but you may think of him that way), who was one of two younger brothers of Gustave. Caillebotte himself painted his younger brothers, mother, several 1st cousins, and Mlle Boissière (located at the Houston MFA) who was a woman on Alfred’s mother’s side of the family. We can find no record of Adèle Zoé Boissière having a sister, only brothers.

Alfred’s mother, Adèle Zoé (neé Boissière) Caillebotte, was my great-grandfather’s 1st cousin, while Martial Caillebotte, the father, was his 2nd cousin by two separate lines. So, Martial (the elder) and his 1st wife, Zoé, were 2nd cousins through their great-grandparents, Thomas Féron (b. 5 Dec 1724, d. 18 May 1799) & Ann Belliot (b. 15 Mar 1724, m. 2 Aug 1742, d. 2 Nov 1799). Their daughter, Anne Julie married Gabriel Pincon de Valpincon, while her brother Francois’ had two daughters, Adeläide and Marie. So in 1793, two Féron daughters, first Marie in January, and then Adeläide in October, married two Caillebotte brothers. One of these brothers, Antoine Marie Pierre Caillebotte, was Gustave’s paternal grandfather.

First cousins share the same grandparents, 2nd cousins share the same great-grandparents, 3rd cousins share the same great-great grandparents, and so on. While I have some 1st and 2nd cousins on my fathers side that we rarely communicate with, our family still remains closely connected with our Valpinçon and Caillebotte cousins who are now 4th and 5th cousins.

The 1808 painting by Jean Auguste Dominic Ingres, titled “The Valpinçon Bather”“, was a gift of neo-classical painter, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres to René Valpinçon. Although the woman in the painting is not a Valpinçon family member to our knowledge, the painting was given the Valpinçon family name at some point we have yet to determine, and it stayed in the family until 1879 when it went to the Louvre where it resides today. It was also through the Valpinçon family that both Degas & Caillebotte met their idol, Ingres.

Paul Valpinçon and Gustave Caillebotte (along with my grandfather, Paul de Launay) were close cousins who lived just three blocks from each other in Paris, and was the relationship through which Caillebotte also met Edgar Degas, and became involved with the French Impressionist movement.

A nephew of René Valpinçon and his sister Marie was Jules Valpinçon, who became the son-in-law of Martin Guillaume Biennais. Biennais was the jeweler who crafted the Crown Jewels for the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804, and they are also in the Louvre.

This same Jules Valpinçon is also the namesake of my great-grandfather, Jules de Launay (1813-1892), and is listed as godfather on Jules de Launay’s baptismal record (1813), along with Jules’ maternal aunt, Anne (neé Valpinçon) Boissiére.

Anne was the mother of Martial Caillebotte’s first wife, Adèle Zoé Boissière. Anne is Paul de Launay’s grand aunt, and she is the sister of René & Marie Valpinçon . Zoé’s son, Alfred Caillebotte, was a Catholic priest and a half-brother of French Impressionist artist Gustave Caillebotte, having different mothers.

This makes Anne 1) the grand aunt of Paul Valpinçon (lifelong friend of Degas), 2) the grandmother of Alfred Callebotte (half-brother of Gustave), and 3) 1st cousin of Martial (the father) Caillebotte’s mother, Adelaïde Françoise Féron.

Upon the death of Paul de Launay’s father, Dr. Jules de Launay on 27 Mar 1892, Alfred Caillebotte offered to make his sons Paul & Gaston de Launay, both Protestants, the sole heirs to Alfred’s estate if only the boys would be raised in the Catholic Church. Jules’ wife, Annie, refused. Alfred died 17 May 1896. But Paul de Launay became an accomplished artist, sculptor, and organist, even training under one of Gustave’s teachers, Léon Joseph Florentin Bonnat.

When the wife of Martin Guillaume Biennais, Madame Biennais died in 1869, her Chateau in Yerres was purchased by Martial Caillebotte (father of Gustave) in a private family auction. Martial’s 2nd cousin, Jules Valpinçon (mentioned above) married one of the Biennais daughters. This property in Yerres is the same property where Gustave Caillebotte painted his first known paintings. So, the sale of this 27 acre estate was literally a sale between cousins.

My grandfather, Paul de Launay (1878-1951), was an artist, sculture, and organist trained in Paris, who was also a student of Léon Bonnat. Bonnat was a very famous French artist, and one of Caillebotte’s first teachers. Paul de Launay came to the U.S. in 1903 and became one of the top organists in the country, and a lesser known artist than his famous cousin, but was finally awarded the French Légion d’honneur in 1950, just before his death in 1951.

On our Facebook page, linked below, I have posted a photo of Alfred Caillebotte, who was as you may have guessed by now, was both a 3rd cousin AND a half-brother to Gustave. Alfred’s parents were indeed 2nd cousins to each other and were married on 10 May 1828 in Paris. Alfred’s mother was the first wife of Martial Caillebotte, and she died 12 Dec 1836, just four days after their daughter, Leonie (age 6) died.

Martial Caillebotte married his 2nd wife, Eugénie Séraphine Lemasquerier, in 1843. She died 12 Jan 1844, 6 days after giving birth to their son, Max, who died the day he was born.

Martial’s 3rd wife was Gustave’s mother, Cèleste Daufresne, and they married on 21 Oct 1847. Cèleste was also the niece of the 2nd wife of Martial Caillebotte, but only 5 years younger. All of the wives and children, and some grandchildren, are buried in the Caillebotte Tomb at Pére Lachaise.

The Caillebotte, Valpinçon, and de Launay descendants (including 14 known Americans), now 4th, 5th, and 6th cousins, who all maintain very close family ties with each other and still frequently gather as a family in Paris, and Normandie almost annually.

Find us on Facebook at http://Facebook.com/GustaveCaillebotte


The cleaning of a Caillebotte painting at the Chicago Art Institute.


Caillebotte Was Already A Celebrated Artist In The U.S. By 1894

Most art “historians” claim that Gustave Caillebotte, French Impressionist, was not known outside of France until after the middle of the 20th century.  That simply isn’t true.  Even in the small Texas town of Waco, Texas his death was noted in the Waco Evening News on March 26th, just barely a month after his death.  Here is the portion of the article noting his death, in 1894.

Waco evening news. (Waco, Tex.) 1891-1894, March 26, 1894, Page 8


20131027-124350.jpg

PARIS – Artcurial is privileged to present for auction a major Impressionist icon, Le Pont de l’Europe dated 1876 by Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894). Coming from a French private collection, the work is entering the market for the first time in 60 years. With an estimated value between 3 and 4 Million euros, the painting will be presented during the sale of Impressionist and Modern Art on December 2, 2013.

“Given its quality, rarity, and size, the availability on the market of such a major work by Gustave Caillebotte represents a major event for collectors and institutions,” emphasizes Olivier Berman, director of the Impressionist Art department at Artcurial.

This magnificent painting by Gustave Caillebotte, a true genius of image, is one of the versions of his famous composition Le Pont de l’Europe from 1876, currently held by the Musée du Petit Palais in Geneva.

The sale is also an integral part of current events since an important retrospective of Gustave Caillebotte at the Bridgestone Museum in Tokyo will open on October 10, 2013. Between March, 2011 and January, 2012, a major exhibit dedicated to the Caillebotte brothers was organized by the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris, and later at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts in Québec.

— Viewing at Arader Gallery New York
Arader Gallery, 29th East 72nd street, 10021 NY
From November 2 to 6.

— Viewing at Artcurial Bruxelles
5, avenue Franklin Roosevelt, B-1050 Bruxelles
From November 14 to 18.

— Viewing at Artcurial Paris
7, rond-point des Champs-Elysées, F-75008 Paris
From November 29 to December 2.


This is dedicated to my dear cousins, descendants of Martial Caillebotte.

It has long been my belief that the 2nd and third wives of Martial CAILLEBOTTE (the father of Gustave, René, and Martial) were related in some way. As my research continued, I began to suspect that the second wife, Eugénie Séraphine LEMASQUERIER was likely the aunt of the 3rd wife, Cèleste DAUFRESNE, whose mother also born LEMASQUERIER.

Special thanks to our cousin, Philippe PINSON de VALPINÇON, for helping me locate family birth and marriage records and proving my beliefs.

We knew that Cèleste DAUFRESNE was the mother of Gustave CAILLEBOTTE, René, and Martial.

We knew that the mother of Cèleste DAUFRESNE was Marie Cèleste LEMASQUERIER.

We now know that Marie Cèleste was born 12 Jul 1797.

We now know that Eugénie Séraphine LEMASQUERIER, was born 12 Jul 1813, and was the sister of Marie Cèleste, both having same parents.

Finally, we now know that Eugénie Séraphine LEMASQUERIER was also born as a twin, with her brother, Eugene Joseph LEMASQUERIER.

I am posting this via an iPhone, and will post more information in the future, as I transcribe these documents. Please forgive any typos I made with my thumbs.


Via iPhone – Today, 15 September 2012, the Valpinçon & de Launay family gathered once again at the former family chateau in Ménil-Hubert-en-Exmes, in Normandie, and now a famous France historic landmark.

Once a year the Museums, gardens, and historic landmarks of France open free to the public. Since the former family Chateau is a private residence, it is only open during this one weekend a year. In July of this year, I had the pleasure of a private tour from the current owner, so we decided to return again today so my wife and daughter could visit the private grounds.

First purchased by my 2nd great-grand uncle, Augustin René Valpinçon in December 1822 from Comte La Pallu, it was eventually inherited by his grandson, Paul Valpinçon, the lifelong friend of Edgar Degas. The Valpinçon Chateau remained in the family until 1974 when it was finally sold.

Degas and Paul Valpinçon, were both born in Paris in 1834, and were schooled together in Paris at the famous Lycée Louis Le Grand. Degas visited the Valpinçon chateau at least as early as 1867 and included the interior of the chateau in several paintings, which included basic interior paintings and portraits of Paul, Paul’s wife, Marguerite, and daughter, Hortense. Degas would visit the Chateau until his death. One Degas painting, entitled “At the Races”, was a painting of Paul Valpinçon, Marguerite, an unnamed nanny, and Paul’s son Henri. It was painted at Haras du Pin, where horse racing still takes place today.

What the art world did not know until made public by MyFamilyJules.com was the family relationship between Paul Valpinçon and Gustave Caillebotte – who were 3rd cousins via their respective fathers, and at one time lived only 3 blocks from one another in Paris.

More history about the Valpinçon Chateau will be published in the future when I am not limited by my thumbs.


On 18 Dec 1819, Jules Pinson de Valpinçon, the 1st cousin and namesake of my great-grandfather Jules de Launay, married Adrienne Biennais at Église Saint Roch in Paris. Adrienne’s father, Martin Guillaume Biennais, created the 1804 crown jewels for Napoleon Bonaparte which are now on display at the Louvre.

Both of these Jules were 2nd cousins of the father of the French Impressionist artist, Gustave Caillebotte. In 1860, Gustave’s father, Martial Caillebotte, purchased property at Yerres for 134,000 francs plus about 9,000 in fees, from the Biennais Estate. This property is where Gustave did many of his paintings. So it was quite literally a sale between cousins.

Adrienne Adelaide Biennais – Madame Jules Valpincon. Grave is locate near the Caillebotte tomb in Pere Lachaise cemetery.

Source: http://www.MyFamilyJules.com.


Written on my iPhone. Please forgive any errors.

We arrived in Paris from Nice, France after a 10-Hour drive to spend Thursday night with Valpinçon descendants. Departing Friday morning at 10am we stopped by Notre Dame to pick up copies of Valpinçon and Caillebotte family records which I had arranged to have ready and waiting for us.

Afterwards, we stopped by another church in the 1st Arrondissement where I had previously discovered Caillebotte and Féron baptism records. It was nearly noon on the day before Bastille Day, and the church was about to close, but I was able to find a very busy Veronique, the church secretary who had helped me before, who remembered me from my visit this past May, and was quite happy to help me again.

With Baptism dates in hand, we found finally found evidence of Veronique PINSON de VALPINÇON, the sister of Gabriel, Jacques, Anne (grandmother of Alfred Caillebotte), Victor, Augustin René (grandfather of Paul de Valpinçon who was the friend of Degas), Marie (my 2nd great-grandmother), Adelaide, and Jean Baptiste.

In a few hours the current owners of the Chateau Menil-Hubert will give us a private tour of the family chateau where Edgar Degas kept a studio. This chateau first purchased by Augustin Renè PINSON DE VALPINÇON on 31 Dec 1822 from Dame Marguerite Charlotte Fanny de LA PALLU for 315,560 francs. The current value is estimated around €10 million.


It’s funny what you come across, when you aren’t even looking.  Yesterday, while visiting the Throne Room in the Palace of Prince Albert II, the reigning Sovereign Prince of Monaco (Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi), I happened to notice a painting of of his great-grandfather, Prince Albert I, hanging to the left of the throne.

1894 painting of Prince Albert I, by Léon Bonnat, shown to the left of the Palace throne.

The 1894 painting of Prince Albert I is by Léon Bonnat.  Bonnat was not only a teacher of my grandfather, Paul de Launay (a Valpinçon descendant through his paternal grandmother, Marie de Valpinçon)  while he was at the Luxembourg, but was a teacher of his cousin Gustave Caillebotte as well.  Paul de Valpinçon was a cousin of both Caillebotte and de Launay.  Paul de Valpinçon’s lifelong friend, Edgar Degas, was also a student of Bonnat.  Paul de Valpinçon and Gustave Caillebotte died in 1894, the same year as this painting.


Gustave Caillebotte as a child. (L) 1849, (R) 1853.

Gustave Caillebotte as a child.
(L) 1849, (R) 1853.

Although this is, and always will be, the primary site for original content distributed by My Family Jules, we are expanding to also include a micro-blogging page (short snippets) on Tumblr.com

, because of the large number of Caillebotte fans that are blogging and re-blogging posts about our cousin, Gustave Caillebotte.  By doing so, we hope to reach more fans, to share with them the not-so-public and private information about the life and family connections of Gustave that made him such a unique figure in French art history.

Follow our Tumblr blog at http://www.CaillebotteFamily.com .

Also please take a moment to LIKE a new page on Facebook, the Friends of Caillebotte, a new group that has hopes of helping to fund the restoration of former properties owned or occupied by Gustave Caillebotte that have fallen on hard times and are beginning to show major problems, such at the property in Yerres.  You can find the Friends of Caillebotte at http://www.facebook.com/CaillebotteSociety.


1848 – 1894, LA VALLÉE DE L’YERRES, Signed “G. Caillebotte”, and dated 77 (lowerᅠ right).  Pastel on paperᅠlaid down on board 22 7/8 by 28 1/2 in. 58.1 by 72.4 cm Executed in 1877.

The auction is to be held on May 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm in New York, and is estimated at $1 – 1.5 million.

Visit listing on Sotheby’s.

Chance Encounters.


Gaston de Launay (ca. 1904-1906), when he was a Canadian Husser

My grandfather, Paul de Launay, who was born in Paris on 19 Oct 1878, married his first wife, Florence Grace Hensley (born 12 Nov 1866), 12 years his elder in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Paul was 24 years old.  His new bride was 36, a “cougar” by modern standards.

One night last year, as I was boarding a flight to Paris, I met a woman with the same uncommon last name as the one I was researching – “Hensley”, that of my step-grandmother, and then sat on a plane next to a Frenchman who gave me info on how to research my grand uncle Gaston de Launay’s French military record, even volunteering to check on the existence of the records himself.

So, as I checked in at the gate that night, I happened to notice that the agent’s last name was “Hensley”, which was coincidental since I was presently researching that same name, so it happened to be very fresh on my mind.

Married to my grandfather, Paul de Launay, on 20 June 1903 at the Bruton Episcopal Church in Williamsburg, Virginia,  Florence Grace Hensley died suddenly on 3 Jan 1907 due to breast cancer.  My grandfather, for some reason, kept this marriage to her a secret as best he could, and would always refer to her, as “My dear Aunt Flo”.

My grandmother, born Mabel Ray Beasley, was Paul’s third wife, and never learn of Paul’s marriage to Flo until after Paul’s death in 1951.  It became her obsession, and later mine, to learn as much about her as possible, and why Paul grieved for Flo for so long.  Though we’ve found many answers, we still have not found a photo of her.  It doesn’t look good, but I will continue to hold out hope that one day we’ll get to see the face that Paul loved so many years ago.

Steam Ship Haverford

SS Haverford

On the 1901 English Census in the Saint Lawrence Parish of Jersey Channel Island, I had found Florence Grace Hensley living with her brother Philip.  On 19 Nov 1902, Florence boarded the SS (for Steam Ship) Haverford, then an American Line in Liverpool, with her 49 year old sister, Emily Marianne Hensley, their 10-year old nephew Charles E. Bishop, and another unknown boy, Lionel W. Roberts.  Emily answered ‘yes’ to having been in the United States before.  Florence’s answer is unreadable regarding this.  All four stated there destination was to their sister and brother-in-law, Alice Mary (Hensley) and husband Charles Edward Bishop in Sandybrook, Williamsburg, Virginia.  The Haverford arrived in Philadelphia on 1 December 1902.

Finding this and other definitive clues, we connected with the descendants of Flo’s sisters, and other English cousins in the U.K., so there’s a slight feeling of connection to her.  Paul de Launay painted a nude, red-haired woman facing away from the artist.  Although there is no proof, as yet, we think this may have been Paul’s Flo.  There are other unnamed female Hensley faces in a photo album that Paul kept until his death.  It’s possible that her’s in among them.

During my conversation with the gate agent, I had asked her if she knew if she had any English relatives several generations back.  She indicated she did, and that they had settled in the Virginia area.  This was the same area I was looking for other Hensley’s.  She told me that the name was rather uncommon here in the States.  So I took her email with a promise to follow up, and I’ll do the same on this story, as new information is discovered.

Until then, I will continue to look for the face of Florence Grace (nee Hensley) de Launay, my Late step-grandmother.


For those of you that remember that today is Pearl Harbor Day, I’ll give you another reason to remember something else that happened on this day in history.

Today, December 7th, in 1813, our ancestor, Professor Jules Gabriel Gaston Zoé de Launay was born to his parents, Jacques de Launay and Marie PINSON de Valpinçon. They resided at what is now No. 8, rue des Francs-Boureois, Paris, along a street that divides the 3rd and 4th Arondissements. Jacques parents lived just around the corner on rue du Foin, and this is were Jules’ uncle Jean de Launay died on 23 Dec 1816. I have begun to create a map on Google that will show you all of the family related places in Paris.

These three locations are the first. You can find the map here: http://g.co/maps/fkwr4, this way, if anyone ever goes to Paris and wants to do the family tour, you will have it all mapped out for you.

Eventually I’ll create a legend that will go with each location that will give more details than the limited space I’m given on Google maps. The map will take many months to create, as I do a little of it in between other research. I’ll add also photos that I’ve taken as I go along, in addition to the ones you may find on Google.


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I wrote a Post yesterday, explaining how Gustave Caillebotte and Edgar Degas really knew each other, on the Facebook page of the Degas House, Courtyard & Inn, and Edgar Degas Foundation of New Orleans, and so I thought that I should share it here.  Caillebotte and Degas met because of one man, Paul Valpinçon.  You see, Paul Valpinçon was Degas’ lifelong and dear friend, but he was also the cousin of Gustave Caillebotte, a fact which the families have not shared with the art world until now.  I’ve added a little further explanation along with appropriate photos or documents.

————————–

Paul Valpinçon was born 29 Oct 1834 in Paris, though the family was originally from Normandy. The Degas painting “Madame Valpinçon” (1865) is of Paul’s wife Marguerite Claire (born Brinquant) Valpinçon. Edgar’s painting of their daughter, Hortense, is in the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts. Hortense and her younger brother, Henri (also painted by Degas), both died without children.

My 2nd great grand-uncle (Paul Valpinçon’s grandfather) René Valpinçon, bought the Menil-Hubert Chateau in Normandy in 1822.  This chateau was where Degas (formerly “de Gas”, which is how he still spelled his name, as late as 1891) did many of his paintings, including those of some of my Valpinçon cousins.

1891 - Shows Degas registered as "de Gas"

Paul Valpinçon is a third cousin of Gustave Caillebotte, and through whom Degas met Gustave, as well as neo-classical artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Ingres’ 1808 painting, “Valpinçon Bather” was named after Paul’s family, who owned it (a gift from Ingres) prior to it going to the Louvre in 1879, where it now resides.

Gustave Caillebotte  is a 3rd Cousins of my grandfather, Paul de Launay, while Paul Valpinçon. is a 2nd.  Paul de Launay was born 19 Oct 1878 in Paris and nearly adopted in 1892, along with his brother Gaston (1881-1836), by Gustave’s older brother Alfred (1834-1896), a Catholic priest, when the boys’ father, Professor Jules de Launay D.D., died on 24 March 1892 and left his wife and two boys destitute.  In addition to studying under Jean-Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant at Académie Julian, Paul de Launay studied under one Gustave’s teachers, Léon Bonnat, at Musée du Luxembourg.

1899 "Victor Hugo Mort, after Bonnat", by Paul de Launay,

Jules de Launay was a 1st cousin to the father of Paul Valpinçon and a 2nd cousin to the father of Gustave Caillebotte. Those fathers names were Louis Augustin Edouard de Valpinçon (born 1807) and Martial Caillebotte (1799-1874) respectively. Jules de Launay also had become a Catholic priest in 1834 and served at the Vatican under Pope Gregory XVI from 1834 until he left the priesthood in 1839. Jules, rather famous later during his life, immigrated to the U.S. in 1841, but later returned to Paris in December 1877 as the first American Protestant missionary to France.

Since both he and his father were born in Paris, my grandfather, Paul de Launay (1878-1951), came to the U.S. as both a Frenchman and the son of an American.  My great-grandfather Jules de Launay (1813-1892) was in New Orleans in the 1840’s. His first wife was Anna Eliza Goodale (b. about 1826), daughter of Nathan Goodale (1792-1872).

Degas remained a close friend of Paul Valpinçon’s daughter, Hortense, and her husband Jacques Fourchy, until Degas’ death.

In 1900, Degas, with Hortense and her husband, Jacques Fourchy at the Valpinçon chateau at Menil-Hubert, Normandy.

Although Paul Valinçon’s line stopped with his children, and Gustave Caillebotte never had any children, the descendants and cousins of these Valpinçon, Caillebotte, and de Launay families  still get together over 100 years later.


From 6 Oct 2012 through 8 Jan 2012 in Québec City, my cousins have assisted in bringing the “Caillebotte Brothers Private World” Expo from Paris.  It includes 50 of Gustave’s paintings along with 150 private family photos by Martial. My family will be there the first week, for a mini-reunion of sorts.  We hope you can attend.


I can’t find it published online anywhere yet, but I’m told privately that the “Caillebotte Brothers Private World” exhibition is coming to Canada.  I hope I’m not spilling the beans.  I saw it at the Musee Jacquemart Andre in Paris back in March when it had just opened.  To a cousin of Gustave and Martial, I was more really interested in the family photos, which I had not yet seen.

I’m planning to attend the opening of the Montreal exhibition.  I’m hoping some of the de Launay descendants can make the trip to see not just the exhibition, but our Caillebotte descendant cousins, whom our families had lost touch with after the death of my great-grandmother, Annie de Launay in 1919.  My grandfather was just 15 years old, when Gustave died in 1894, but was already a painter and pianist himself by the age of 9, most likely following in his older cousins’ (Martial the pianist, and Gustave the painter) footsteps.

It’s getting close, so the dates should be announced soon.  I’ll repeat the official dates and location here on this blog when they are released, but I think it will open sometime in early October.


From page 1, Vol. 1 of “Jules & Paul de Launay” (publish 1983) by Jules Richard de Launay.  The photos which I have added are from my mother, Rosemarie’s collection.

Mes excuses. Je vais imprimer les Français de cet article bientôt.

“On the ninth of December 1813 in Paris, at the church of St. Denis du St. Denis du St. Sacrament, was baptized a two day old baby, Jules.  He was the son of Jacques Launay and his wife Marie Valpinçon, living at No. 8 rue Neuve St. Catherine (now Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris III).  The godmother was Anne Valpinçon, wife of Boissière, residing at no. 30 Rue de la Barillerie (now Bvd. du Palais Paris I & IV).  The godfather was Jules Valpinçon of No. 11 Rue des Deux Boules (Paris I).

I first obtained a copy of the certificate of baptisms of the above Jules in 1933.  I knew something about my grandfather Jules, but I knew nothing of the family except for the little bit of confused information which my father Paul could remember from his conversations with his father Jules.

Paul de Launay (about 1887)

Since Jules died when his son Paul was only 13 & 1/2 years old, the latter’s knowledge was rather vague.  The information which Paul got from his mother Anna was unreliable as she was a social-climber and gave herself and her husband Jules grand (but false) ancestral backgrounds.

Who were these people mentioned in the certificate?  Why was the father named Launay instead of de Launay?  Who were these three Valpinçons?  It was 30 years later in 1963 that knowledge about these people began to unfold.

In January 1962, I arrived in London, England, to spend three years as liaison scientist for the U.S. Office of naval Research, London Branch.  My son Hugh wrote me suggesting that while I was in Europe, perhaps I should investigate our de Launay ancestry.  The idea pleased me, for I had 5 weeks of leave per year and I wished to be doing something active during those times.  But I did not know how to start the research.  Launay, Delaunay, de Launay are very common names in France, so I would need firm clues in order to identify my own de Launays.  Valpinçon, on the other hand, seemed to be a rare name, and form PINSON de VALPINÇON to be contrived (which it proved to be).  Thus, I decided to begin with the Valpinçon Family and leave the de Launay for later.

In the summer of 1962, while in Paris for a week on Navy business [editor’s note: the writer, Jules Richard de Launay, a former Rhodes scholar, and a Navy physicist], I spent an hour each evening looking through the set of telephone books in the Metro station for the name Valpinçon.  Before I began the search, I had reasoned that between Mont Pinson in Calvados and the nearby village Aunay-sur-Odon, there could be a dale called Valpinçon.  Thus, the first place I looked at in the phone books was Aunay-sur-Odon, and there it was:  Pierre de Valpinçon, agrie!  After that happy event, I searched the whole set of volumes, but never found another Valpinçon.

Back in London, I wrote a letter to Monsieur Pierre de Valpinçon, giving him the details from the baptismal certificate of 1813.  I asked if he knew anything about the Valpinçons on the certificate, and if so, would be kindly give me what information he could.  Several months passed by without a reply.  I began to assume that he was not interested and had thrown my letter in the waste paper basket.  In time, however, I was delighted to receive a letter from him.  He said that he had passed my letter on to his cousin l’Abbé Yves Champion of Laval, who was the family genealogist.  The Abbé was injured in an automobile accident just after receiving my letter and was incapacitated for some time, hence the long delay.  The Abbé tol Monsieur de Valpinçon that he was certain that I was their cousin and that he knew the connection.  I was then invited to spend a day in April (1963) in the week after Easter at the farm.

This photo from a later reunion, not 1962.

What happened to the family in Paris after the birth in 1813 of Jules, I had no idea.  In 1982, I engaged the Paris genealogist Madame Margaret Audin of 37 Rue Quintinie, Paris-XV, to find out what happened to them.”

So began Volume 1 of “Jules and Paul de Launay” printed for my uncle Jules Richard de Launay in 1983 by Frank Webster, bookbinder in Canterbury, England.

I will be re-publishing my uncle’s work here, as I transcribe it for republication with my own work, and that of my mother’s, for the descendants of their father, my grandfather Paul de Launay.


http://wp.me/Ph5jD-34

I just added a new sub-page to the Public Downloads Page.  This is a transcript of a 26 page booklet published in 1888 for the 10th-year anniversary of the first American Protestant Mission to Paris in January 1878, opened by my great-grandparents, Professor Jules de Launay, D.D., and his wife Anna Augusta (born Ollerrenshaw) de Launay. Jules was the second cousin of Martial Caillebotte (the elder).

Jules emigrated to the U.S. in 1841, and then returned to Paris with Annie as American missionaries in December 1877.  Their sons, Paul and Gaston were both born in Paris, as dual citizens.  Paul de Launay would later be awarded France’s two highest awards:  the National Order of the Legion of Honour (Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur) in 1950, and the medal of Officier d’Académie de France in 1936.  Additionally, in 1926, Paul de Launay was made a member of Société Académique d’histoire Internationale.

—————-

en français:

http://wp.me/Ph5jD-34

Je viens d’ajouter un nouveau sous-page à la page Téléchargements publics. Ceci est une transcription d’un livret de 26 pages publié en 1888 pour le 10e anniversaire l’année de la première mission protestante américaine à Paris en Janvier 1878, ouvert par mes grands-parents, le professeur Jules de Launay, DD, et son épouse Anna Augusta (né Ollerrenshaw) de Launay. Jules était le cousin au second degré de Martial Caillebotte (l’aîné).

Jules a émigré aux Etats-Unis en 1841, puis revint à Paris avec Annie comme missionnaires américains en Décembre 1877. Leur fils, Paul et Gaston sont tous deux nés à Paris, que la double citoyenneté. Paul de Launay sera plus tard attribué France les deux plus hautes distinctions: l’Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur en 1950, et la médaille d’Officier d’Académie de France en 1936. En outre, en 1926, Paul de Launay a été fait membre de la Société Académique d’histoire internationale.

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