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John James Chalon RA (1778-1854)

John James Chalon, RA OWS (1778-1854), christened Jean-Jacques Chalon

The Swiss-born artist, John James Chalon, developed a close partnership with his brother, Alfred Edward, and together they became central to the London art scene. John James became particularly well known as a painter of landscapes and coastal scenes in oil and watercolour. He developed these drawings made on sketching tours – and especially those of the Thames and Wye Valleys and the south coast of England.

John James Chalon was born in Geneva, Switzerland, on 27 March 1778, the elder son of Jean-Jacques Chalon, a Huguenot watchmaker. The family left Switzerland in 1794, during troubles arising from the French Revolution, and moved first to Ireland before settling in England. Jean-Jacques Chalon was appointed Professor of French at the Royal Military Academy – probably at Marlow, and then certainly at Sandhurst – retiring in 1817.

The Chalon family lived at 8 Church Street, Kensington, London, and played host to a number of Swiss artists visiting or settling in England.

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