Jules Worms (French, 1832 – 1924)

Courting Couple

Jules Worms (France, Spanish, 1832 – 1924) “Courting Couple” Oil on board. 20 x 16 inches.

Jules Worms was a French genre painter and illustrator, born in Paris on December 16, 1832. He began to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1849 under Jean-Baptiste-Adolf Lafrosse, a painter of historical scenes, and consequently developed his own history scenes with comedic overtones.

Worms made his debut at the Salon in 1859 and achieved great success with paintings of Spanish subjects with a subtle humorous comment on contemporary romance. Something of a storyteller, Worms painted animated pictures of gypsies and bullfighters that felt more like stills from comic-operas, than from real life.

In the early 1860s, Worms made the first of many trips to Spain in the early 1860’s along with many young French artists of the time, and was immediately drawn to Spanish culture and customs. Following his initial trip to Spain, Worms returned repeatedly, even living for six weeks in Grenada in 1871 with the Catalan painter, Jose Mari Fortuny whom he had met in Paris. Paintings from the 1870s and 1880s were largely based on Spanish subject matter, revealing the universality of everyday human experiences.

Worms became a member of the Society of French Artists in 1883. He won awards in 1867, 1868, 1869 and was made a member of the Legion of Honor in 1876. Worms died on November 25, 1924. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Dijon Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in Paris and at the Nancy Museum.