Digital Commonwealth

Alphonse Legros (1837-1911). Prints and Drawings

Boston Public Library

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Alphonse Legros (1837-1911) was a French painter, etcher, sculptor, and medallist. Born in Dijon in 1851, he went to Paris to study, took up etching in 1855, and in 1857 exhibited for the first time at the annual Paris Salon. In 1863, with the encouragement of the American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Legros moved to England, where he continued to build his reputation as a painter and a printmaker. Legros first taught etching and then, from 1876 to 1893, held the position of Slade Professor of Fine Art at University College, London. Legros died in Watford, England in 1911.

In 1923, Albert H. Wiggin was able to acquire the entire collection of Legros prints and drawings formed by Frank E. Bliss, an American who had settled in London. In turn, those works by Legros came to the Library as part of the 1941 gift by Wiggin of his collection of prints and drawings, which formed the basis for establishing the Boston Public Library's Print Department. Works by Legros in the Library’s collection number over 1,900 and include proofs of multiple states of many of the prints in addition to drawings. 

Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to Boston Public Library collections, including this one, was provided by the Associates of the Boston Public Library.