Jean-Achille Benouville

Jean-Achille Benouville (Jul 15, 1815 – Feb 8, 1891) was a French landscape painter of the academic painting school, known for his Italian landscapes. François-Léon Benouville was his younger brother. Jean-Achille Benouville married Nadäscha Amalia Sillem in 1873. She was the widow of Alfred August Odier.

Together with his younger brother, François-Léon, he was apprenticed to François-Édouard Picot and, later, to Léon Cogniet. He painted numerous landscapes in the vicinity of Paris, Compiègne and Fontainebleau.

In 1834, he had his first exhibition at the Salon. Three years later, he was admitted to the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts and was awarded the Prix de Rome for historic landscape painting. As a result, he was able to make three trips to Italy; one in the company of Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, with whom he shared a studio in Rome. In 1845, he won first prize in the Prix de Rome for his work “Ulysses and Nausicaa”.

After a stay of three years at the Villa Médicis, he decided to remain in Italy, although he continued to display his works at exhibitions in Paris. He was married in 1851 and had two sons: Pierre Louis (1852-1889) and Léon (1860-1903), who both became architects. In 1863, he was named a Knight in the Legion of Honor.

He returned to France following his wife’s death and remarried in 1871. He travelled frequently, to Italy, the Pyrenees and the Netherlands, until his death in 1891.

Maupassant dedicated his story, Mon oncle Jules (1883), to Benouville.