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silla was born out of a passion for beautiful objects: special pieces with aesthetic and historical significance. In 2009, after years of collecting, Andrew Silla and his wife Grace began to work privately with clients from their residence in Southern Maryland. Quickly outgrowing the space, the business was moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania in 2012 and after several warehouse location changes it was firmly settled in the present brick-and-mortar location in downtown Shippensburg.

The 9000 square foot brick-and-mortar gallery is home to a large collection of works of art and estate jewelry. We specialize in sculpture circa 1860 through 1930 with a particular emphasis on the Animaliers and as such the gallery always has a very large collection of exceptional European and American sculpture available on display.

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"Le Départ des Conscrits" | Julien Le Blant

Le Blant, Julien

Regular: $8,900.00
Sale: $6,800.00
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catalog text

French, 1851-1936

"Le Départ des Conscrits" (1888)

Oil on canvas | Signed lower left "J. Le Blant"

Item # 301OIV16Z 

A moving study of a very young man hugging and kissing his father goodbye as the French Navy has arrived at his home to collect him for conscription to military service. His mother grips a hankerchief in one hand as she watches her teenage son with a complex expression that bridges grief and perhaps anger. His younger brother likely does not grasp the totality of the situation, dragging behind his feet a toy boat. The bright colors and vibrant life of the rural farm is juxtaposed against a deep sorrow.

The present example dates from 1888 and was mentioned in the Gazette anecdotique et Littéraire of the same year. It is included in the ongoing catalogue project on the works of Julien Le Blant by Dominique Formaz and is documented at (click here to view this work in their catalogue)

Julien Le Blant studied under E. Girard and made his debut at Salon in 1874.  His work was regularly recognized, ultimately receiving the gold medal at the 1889 Exposition Universelle.  He was made Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur in 1885.  The body of his work largely focuses on military scenes, particularly of the French Revolution, but also scenes of the First World War later in life.  He completed hundreds of illustrations for a great number of books, including Les Chouans (Honoré de Balzac), Chevalier des Touches (Barbey d'Aurevilly), and Premier Grenadier de France (Paul Dérouléde) to name a few.  His work is held in major museum collections and institutions around the world.

For serious collectors of militarism and of the Romantic painters of the period, this is a simply outstanding investment grade selection. Works by Julien Le Blant very rarely make their way to the the open market.


  • Musée de Mulhouse, France - The Regiment's Return
  • Musée de Nantes, France - Death of General d'Elbee
  • Musée de Troyes, France - The Battle of Fére Champenoise

Further Reading and Notes:

  • E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, vol. VIII, Gründ, p. 588-9
  • Popular Nineteenth Century Painting: A Dictionary of European Genre Painters, Hook and Poltimore, p. 418 and p. 424

Measurements: 26" H x 38 1/4" W [canvas]; 30" H x 40 1/2" W x 2" D [frame]

Condition Report:
Relined at some point and stretched on new stretcher bars, frame contemporary (from the last 40 years or so) with some edge wear and loss/rubbing to the gilding; professionally conserved with very minor inpainting (see images under UV), cleaned and with a traditional damar varnish applied; there is an all-over light craquelure, surface remaining tight and vibrant; extreme edges of the painting with some loss that is hidden by the edges of the frame. A very fine presentation.