Léon Job-Vernet

Detail from the series on the United States
Detail of an illustration from the series on the United States

Léon Job-Vernet was a painter, pastellist, and lithographer born in Paris May 11, 1830. He studied painting with Léon Cogniet (1764-1880) – who also taught Messonnier, Rosa Bonheur, Charbonnel…–and he was admitted to the Paris École des Beaux-Arts October 2, 1844. Although he seemed to be travelling a lot and, at one point, divide his life between France and the United States, he managed to exhibit at the Paris Salon in 1849, 1850, 1853, 1857, 1859, 1868, 1869 and 1870.

In 1857, however, the year he probably did his series of drawings for L’Illustration, he was living in New York, and registered at the exhibition of the National Academy of Design as Leon Job. He was back in Paris in 1858, but still willing to pursue his career in the United States, he sent a portrait to the exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. At the 1859 Paris Salon, he exhibited a cottage life scene as well as studies for religious paintings. He went back to the United States in 1860, to live in Philadelphia, where he exhibited again at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Ten of his paintings could be seen on this occasion, among which American subjects were featured alongside European scenery, a selection which was after all consistent consistent with the life he led at the time.

In 1862, he was to be found in New York again, where he took part in another exhibition at the National Academy of Design. At the 1870 Paris Salon, he exhibited three paintings, called L’Âge Primitif (The Primitive Age), Le Premier-Né (The First Born) and Pauvre Amour! (Poor Love!). That same year, he painted a portrait of president Ulysses S. Grant, which is kept at the Chicago Historical Society. And this is the last we know of Léon Job-Vernet.