J.J. Chalon, R.A. 1778 - 1854
A Gipsy Encampment
Photo: R.A./John Hammond
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A Gipsy Encampment, 1840
Oil on canvas, 994 X 1322 X 20 mm
Diploma Work given by J.J. Chalon, R.A., accepted 1841
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The landscape and genre painter John James Chalon was born in Geneva, Switzerland and emigrated to England with his family in 1789. He attended the RA Schools with his brother Alfred Edward Chalon RA, who however chose the easier path to fame of portrait painting.
Contemporaries praised Chalon's landscapes as 'beautiful studies from Nature'.

In this painting the artist has chosen to depict a group of gipsies in a verdant forest. In the 18th century some representations of gipsies could be slightly sinister but here they are shown in a romantic way as living quite comfortably off the land. A man gathers firewood, the central figure peels vegetables while looking at a girl carrying a duck, and in the background a group of women sit round a fire cooking.

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