Alfred de Dreux
23 March 1810, – 5 March 1860
Growing up in Paris, Alfred de Dreux’s family moved to Rome for a period of time when his father, architect Pierre-Anne Dedreux, won the Prix de Rome for architecture in 1815. While in Rome, Alfred met painter Théodore Géricault, who painted portraits of him and his sister, Élise and who would later become his mentor when he turned 13. He also trained with Léon Cogniet. Soon he realized that horses were his favorite subject and his first exhibit was a painting the Duc d’Orléans on his horse at the Salon came in 1831. After completing several other portraits of the Duc d’Orléans and caught the attention of King Louis-Philippe, who invited him to come on a trip to England. He would later paint many equestrian portraits of the English aristocracy, before returning to Paris in 1858 to open a studio and create more equine and equestrian portraits there, sometimes sharing a studio with his artist friend Paul Gavarni.
He supposedly died from an abscess in his liver, however rumors stirred, suggesting he has been injured and died in a duel with Count Fleury, Napoleon’s aide-de-camp. In 1951, his grandnephew, the writer André de Fouquières, wrote about it in his memoir it.
The logo of the French fashion brand, Hermès, is based on a drawing by Alfred de Dreux, which can be seen below: