Hippolyte Camille Delpy was born in Joigny in 1842. He was a pupil of Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878) and as his greatest pupil was greatly influenced by his work. It was Daubigny, a friend of the Delpy family, who took the young Camille along with him on his strolls. The child saw Daubigny paint and admired his creations whose own influences stemmed from the 17th century Dutch masters especially from paintings such as Aelbert Cuyps (1620-1691) “Avenue near Dordrecht” (Wallace Collection, London) and Meyndert Lubbertsz Hobbema’s (1638-1709) “The Avenue at Middelharnis” (National Gallery, London) and works by Salomon Van Ruysdael (1600-1670) and from that point on, his only aspiration as a child was to become a painter. He became one of the foremost landscape artists working at the end of the 19th century in northern France and his name quickly became synonymous with the Barbizon and Impressionist Movements. Other influences on Delpy ranged from the Master of Barbizon, Camille Jean Baptiste Corot (1796-1875) and the great Dutchman Jean Barthold Jongkind (1819-1891) whose achievements include his enormous influence on Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853-1890).
In 1869, he began to exhibit at the Salon. He extensively travelled throughout the provinces, especially visiting Corot in Ville d’Avray, and Daubigny in Anvers-sur-Oise. In 1874, he was married to Louise Berthe Cyboulle. During their marriage she was a source of incomparable happiness to him. It was at this time that Delpy met Camille Pissaro (1830-1903) and Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) at Anvers, and they had a great impact on Delpy’s use of colour. Although he remained faithful to the technique of Daubigny, Delpy brought a more vigorous touch and a greater intensity of colour to his work.
His style was loose and palette vibrant and his first gallery exhibition was at the ‘Galerie des Artistes Modernes’ in Paris and it was surprisingly successful.
He also exhibited in the ‘Exposition International’, with Giuseppe de Nittis (1846-1884), James Abbott MacNeil Whistler (1834-1903), Claude Monet (1840-1926), Alfred Sisley (1839-1899), Pissarro, Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) and Berthe-Marie-Pauline Morisot (1841-1895). To find Delpy in this company clearly shows the esteem with which he was held. The Barbizon School had stated that to the classical theory of harmony between tones and values must be added the notion of colour. Delpy realized the important role of colour, which he used to achieve a brighter truth in his paintings.
He made his debut at the Salon in 1869 and later received several awards and medals. He was made a member of the Society of French Artists in 1886.
His works can be found in museums in: Beziers and Louviers.