French, 1810-1880


Cals was born into a humble family but his parents tried to make sure that he could avoid having to perform any hard, manual labor. Because of the family's circumstances, Adolphe-Félix was sent to be apprenticed by a close friend of the family, an engraver named Anselin. But when Anselin died suddenly, Adolphe-Félix continued to learn the craft, first under the engraver, Ponce, then under Bosc. He then finally entered Cogniet's atelier at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts. Cogniet tried to advise Cals to work in a 'popular' mode, but he refused, arguing that he was ready to take on the consequences of pursuing a personal style, although it would perhaps jeopardize his career. Cogniet stopped mentoring Cals after this disagreement. Cals then got married but the marriage didn't last. Cals did indeed have trouble with his career, selling canvases with the help of gallery-owner Martin as a way of making money. It wasn't until he reached fifty years old that his career improved. Martin introduced him to Count Doria who procured Cals a number of commissions. The count later invited him to live at his Château d'Orrouy which rid Cals of the materialistic troubles that had plagued him throughout his life. The last ten years of his life ended up being his most productive because of a circle of close friends and supporters he had gained throughout his time living between Paris and Honfleur. He received critical acclaim at the 1846 Salon but no formal award. He exhibited many works at the Salons of 1868, 1869 and 1870. Later on he took place in Impressionist exhibitions. His paintings of peasants, sailors and the poor betray a sensitivity which places him alongside the artists Jean-François Millet and Josef Israels.

Museum Collections:
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Bowes Museum, Durham
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Harvard University Art Museums
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Musée Magnin, Dijon
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Mark Murray Fine Paintings is a New York gallery specializing in buying and selling 19th century and early 20th century artwork. 

Paintings for sale

Adolphe Félix Cals Paintings Previously Sold

ADOLPHE FÉLIX CALS    Soleil couchant sur la falaise; Honfleur   Oil on canvas 6¼ x 13 inches (16 x 33 cm)  SOLD

Soleil couchant sur la falaise; Honfleur
Oil on canvas
6¼ x 13 inches (16 x 33 cm)