Henry Pierre Varnier

Bourg-lès-Valence, 1826 – Oran, 1896

S., D. b. d. : Henry Varnier 1865
Inv. : Sc. 8
Dépôt de l’État, 1868

Chloris © Musée de Valence, photo Eric Caillet.


A brother of the painter Jules Varnier (1814-1873), Henry trained at the École des Beaux-Arts of Paris in the studio of François Jouffroy (1806-1882), worked in Paris from 1851 to 1880, and finally settled in Oran, Algeria.  His work, which is little known due to its being so scattered, falls within the academic tradition, inherited from the study of classicism and living models, which gives primacy to line and the imparting of smoothness.  The plaster version of Chloris was exhibited at the 1859 Exhibition, and the marble version at the 1865 Exhibition and then the World's Fair of 1867 before being purchased by the government.  Chloris (or Flora to the Romans), a nymph from the Îles Fortunées (Canary Islands), was loved by Zephyr, who offered her control over flowers, as attested to here by the reeds and garlands of flowers. 

Chloris © Musée de Valence, photo Eric Caillet.