Completed Continental European after 1800, Dress and Textiles 41 Can more be found about Peruvian artist Albert Lynch (b.1851)? What is his date of death?

Head of a Girl
Topic: Artist

1912 as year of death isn't correct. Attached a pastel by his hand, dated 1926.

There is a great deal of disagreement about the dates of his birth and death (see Wikipedia). Lynch rarely dated his work.

This pastel measures 58 x 45cm and seems to be in its original frame.
Dresses worn by some of the sitters on his paintings or pastels also suggest a later date of death (but I'm not a fashion expert!). Attached is an example.

The collection note: 'As Elizabeth has stated there is much debate about Lynch's date of death:

As you will no doubt have seen the Your Paintings website also currently subscribes to the commonly held death date of 1912. Perhaps the topic of when he died could be opened up to the panel of experts?

This pastel does show compelling evidence of a later date.'

Elizabeth De Smidt, Entry reviewed by Art UK

2 attachments

Completed, Outcome

Jade Audrey King,

More information was found about the artist Albert Lynch (1860–1950), born in Germany*.

This amend will appear on the Art UK website in due course. Thank you to all for participating in this discussion. To those viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all comments that led to this conclusion.

*A Wikipedia article can be updated on the basis of this discussion.


Osmund Bullock,

Yes, I agree that the date of death must be wrong - the pastels illustrated (and others online) certainly date from the 1920s. So unless Lynch had an artist son (or other relation) of the same name, he must have lived beyond 1912. The source for the 1912 Monaco death seems obscure - and I've been unable to discover much about Monegasque vital records, to which access seems to be limited to family members and/or Monegasque citizens. In any case Monaco has long been a playground of the wealthy, and it is not hard to imagine that someone else called 'Albert Lynch' might have died there.

Furthermore some internet sources (e.g. ) mention that he was still exhibiting at the "Salón de Paris" in 1920 - though if correct it's not clear which Paris Salon is being referred to. The same year a Peruvian writer, Jose M Huerta ("a member of the Society of French Artists"), is said to have written of him - in the 'Revista de Bellas Artes de Lima' (Journal of Fine Arts) - that he had "...cemented his fame", and spoke of "... his glorious old age." This would need to be checked at source, but seem to imply he was still alive and active.

If you were looking for a perhaps more likely death later in France, you have a problem. French vital records are extensive but very hard to penetrate: with no overall official indexes, you need to know, very specifically, where to look for someone. This is the sort of research that is usually only undertaken by persistent and wholly committed family members, I'm afraid, and can often take months or longer. French newspapers might well help: but while I'm pretty good on British ones (and other UK sources), it would take another lifetime to get to grips with those in France!

The same would apply to any attempt to confirm Albert's birth year from primary sources in Peru (assuming they exist). Just for starters, a cursory look at, and a broader Google search reveal that there were, and still are many people in South America called Alberto Lynch (and variations). In the C19th these names had already extended beyond Peru to Argentina and Brasil: the Lynch family was clearly prolific, and Albert a favoured family name - perhaps that of the original Irish settler. You then have to get to grips with the traditional (but not universal) Spanish naming system, whereby the penultimate name (or 'first surname') is the patronymic, while the final name comes from your mother. Thus the father of "Alberto Gainza Lynch" might be a Lynch or he might be a Gainza, depending on what system was used.

You'd be better off looking at contemporary biographical sources, at least for his birth. I did see mention somewhere on the net of an article in (I think) 'The Studio' in about 1902 - unfortunately I can no longer find the reference, I'm sorry. And I'll have to bow out of this, as it's just too complicated and time-consuming for an English researcher. Good luck!

Oliver Perry,

This is what the "Studio" had to say about him in 1911

Albert Lynch is truly one of this elite, for he cultivates this sense
of beauty, and his work, the fruit of his journeys into a domain now be-
come familiar to him, stands as a striking testimony of his artistic con-
victions. Born in Peru, which from the point of view of art is indeed a new world, he is of Irish origin on his father's side, and his mother, originally of French extraction, is the daughter and granddaughter of artists. Lynch himself studied in Paris, and is the pupil of M. Gabriel Ferrier. We are forced to the conclusion that it is the traditions of the Old World combined with the vitality of the New which have
formed his character and developed his aspirations.

His birthplace is given as Lima in a 1906 catalogue of the museum at Nice:"lynch albert".zoom

Osmund Bullock,

Oh...blast it, I swore I wouldn't get involved...but I've found some French newspapers online here: .

There are a number of references to Albert Lynch being an active artist after 1912, the first being to him exhibiting at Monte Carlo early in January 1913 (The 21st International Exhibition of the Palace of Fine Arts) - perhaps the source of the Monaco death error. He exhibited at the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français in 1914, and was still doing so in May 1920 - the critic of an arts newspaper called 'Comoedia' seems to imply that a portrait by (or just possibly of) him at that exhibition was so awful that a nude by Loriol hanging opposite had good reason to turn her back and hide her face! Perhaps the same painting, entitled 'Summer', was received more kindly in the music journal 'Le Ménestrel' - anyway, that he exhibited in 1920 is confirmed. At the same Salon in spring 1924 he exhibited again, once more with the approval of 'Le Ménestrel'. In Feb 1924 he was one of a number of artist members of l'Académie Internationale des Beaux-Arts assisting at a Municipal Reception for The Comité d'honneur de la Maison de l'Amérique latine. In 1926 he exhibited at the 39th Salon of the Lyon Society of Fine Arts - his name apparently needing no further introduction to the readers of 'Art & Photo' in March of that year.

Unfortunately I can find no reference to his death, unless he is the Monsieur Albert Lynch who was reported by 'Le Matin' of 28/3/1939 to have been killed when the car he was driving hit a pylon at a tunnel exit on the Avenue de l'Amiral-Bruix in Paris. It seems unlikely he would still have been driving at the age of 88, but who knows?

Articles attached.

Unfortunately for us all it looks as if there may have been two Albert Lynches active in France in the early 20th c. Note that this one below was 'd’une famille originaire de Lima'. See the sale catalogue:

Huile sur toile signée en bas à gauche.
64 x 77,5 cm
€10 000 / 12 000

Collection particulière, Paris.
Salon des Artistes Français, Paris, 1933, n° 1625 de l’exposition.
Né en Allemagne en 1860, d’une famille originaire de Lima, il suivit à l’École des Beaux-Arts de Paris les cours de Jules Noël, Henri Lehamann et Gabriel Ferrier. Il exposa au salon à partir de 1890 et reçut une médaille d’or à l’Exposition universelle de 1900.
En 1930, il s’installe en principauté de Monaco. C’est de là qu’il envoie pour le Salon de 1933 “La nouvelle partition” qui y figure sous le numéro 1625. Cette œuvre est caractéristique des grandes compositions de l’artiste, féminines et mondaines, comme “Jeunes femmes prenant le thé” du musée de Lima ou “Le chapeau de fourrure” vendu aux enchères en 1999. Ces scènes de genre sont toujours d’un arrangement très décoratif et d’une grande élégance."

Oliver Perry,

There are, though, various contemporary articles referring to the Peruvian-born Albert Lynch studying under Ferrier and Lehmann in Paris . Neither indicate his age, however, and I suppose the fact that he seems to have begun exhibiting at the Salon in 1890 might make a date of birth of 1860 more likely than 1850.

The Studio 1903:

Chicago Tribune 1900

The Museo de Arte de Lima, to which the French auction house refers us, gives his dates as 1851-1950:

Osmund Bullock,

It is tempting to believe there are two artists involved, Andrew, but I am not convinced. The post-1912 newspaper/journal mentions found seem to form a pretty linear and logical continuum for one person, with no anomalies or contradictions - 1913, 1914, 1920, 1924, 1926 and now 1930 & 1933. And although I have not listed them, there is a similar and more extensive one for instances from (if I remember rightly) 1878 to 1912 - I will check later. And we now have consistent biographical assessments from 1903 & 1911 (thanks, Oliver) as well as the possible 1920 one from a fellow Peruvian artist in France ("The master has cemented his fame and his glorious old age has started"). All are clear he was born in Peru, not Germany. Lehmann died in 1882, and Noel early in 1881, which pushes his apprenticeship back a bit. But certainly the 1903 description of him in The Studio as "young" would be odd for a 52-year old. So, yes, perhaps 1860, at least, is right.

But the Tajan catalogue needs to be treated with caution, and in any case does not necessarily indicate there are two Albert Lynches, merely that they have different birth/death dates for him. Perhaps in 2003 they found information that no-one else had tapped, but I think it is more likely they went by the Wikipedia article of the time, the remnants of which can be seen lower down (under sources) on this French National Library info page: . However if you click on the (French) Wiki link from it you can see that the Germany/1860 et al information has now been superseded by the widespread Trujillo(?Lima) 1851-1912 Monaco one. The new info is not sourced, but perhaps derives from the book mentioned there, Dictionnaire des peitits maîtres de la peinture (1820-1920) (Gérald Schurr et Pierre Cabanne 2008) - there are copies at both the NAL & BL. Trujillo, incidentally, is a road (and perhaps neighbourhood) in Lima, as well as being a city hundreds of miles away.

It would be helpful to examine a run of later Paris Salon catalogues, but the nearest one in a public library seems to be in Paris (and is anyway not currently available owing to a move). One idea would be to contact the Société des Artistes Français, of which he was clearly an active exhibiting member. They certainly have an extensive archive - including catalogues, I see - and invite contact from researchers: one would expect them to have his date of death (and perhaps birth):

Osmund Bullock,

Well done, Oliver! I was just preparing a lengthy post that in part concluded 1860 was more likely - the rest concerns his death, so I'll persevere.

Osmund Bullock,

Sorry, this will be a long one. A lot of the more detailed internet information on the artist, often ill-arranged and misunderstood, seems to derive from a 2007 power point presentation - one of 80 or more on art and artists prepared and uploaded to date by an amateur Peruvian art historian, Gabriela Lavarello Vargas de Velaochaga (aka Gaby Lavarello de Velaochaga), born 1943. Ms LdeV is best known for a Peruvian artists dictionary, 'Artistas plásticos en el Perú', self-published in 2009. Though not an art academic in the proper sense (nor am I), it is clear she has done some good research on Albert Lynch, even if the way it's presented is not ideal. There is apparently an entry for him in the dictionary, and I imagine the power point info forms the basis of this - unfortunately there seems to be just one copy of it in a UK library, at Cambridge University.

Anyway, there are three different versions of the presentation online: in two GLdeV does not know Lynch's death year, and says it is a matter of much dispute. But in the third she states, with interesting evidence, that it was indeed at Monaco in 1950 - then rather spoils it by omitting the actual date:

The presentation is somewhat annoying, so I have extracted the text - see attachment #1. You can do your own Google translate version, but the gist of the relevant part is that although Bénézit's latest (2006) edition assumed him dead in 1912 (he had exhibited at the Salon of French Artists in 1910 and 1911), he actually died in 1950. She goes on to say (in loose translation):

" His death registration reads: '... At 11.20 in the morning; Albert Lynch, fine artist, residing in Monaco, husband of Victoria Bacouel, son of the late Diego Lynch and Adèle Kefler, died in Monaco at Avenue Gare, No.1 ...'."

" In one of his last exhibitions, at the Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées (Archives of Paris PER 370), Lynch showed two works: 'The Two Sisters' and 'Vases of Flowers' - information from research ... by Lydie Vaillant, Keeper at the Archives of Paris, who found a publication of the Society of French Artists, the Salon of 1934 (147th). The address listed for him ... was Avenue de la Gare No.1 in Monaco."

" The death certificate was obtained with the assistance of Jean Montoya, former Director of Culture of the French Alliance of Lima-Peru 1977-1982."

This is getting much nearer to convincing evidence - and the matter is pretty much settled by the discovery on Ancestry of a note by an early C20th French genealogist of the banns for the marriage of Alberto Fernando Lynch, of 147 Av.Villiers, son of Diégo Lynch and Adélaïde Koeffler, to Marie Anna Victoria Bacouel, published on 18th Oct 1896 (17th arrondissment). See attachment #2.

My suggestion of an 1878 date for his first noted artistic activity was wrong (as clearly is GLdeV's 1864). In fact the earliest mention I can find is a glowing revue in Le Livre of July 1885 of his illustrations to a new edition of Balzac's 'Père Goriot' (attachment #3), followed by another in December for a different book (also praised in Le Matin). The following year he was similarly lauded for his work on Dumas' La dame aux camélias'.

From all this I was already thinking 1860 looks more likely for his birth (and his wife was probably born in 1873) - but Oliver has now confirmed it. And 1950 at Monaco is looking good for his death, assuming GLdeV hasn't got the date confused. We even have a middle name for him. If someone can track GLdeV down we could perhaps ask for an image of the death certificate, plus her reason (if any) for believing 1851 was right. A registered Wikipedia user (I'm not) can try and contact her direct, as she seems to be also...but her languages are Spanish, Portuguese and Italian - no English or French, it seems!

Oliver Perry,

In fact, if you do a google book search for - " Avenue de la Gare " Monaco lynch - you get snippets for the Salon catalogues for 1931 and 1934 and for Gabriela Lavarello Vargas de Velaochaga's dictionary. The catalogue for 1934 reads:

LYNCH (Albert), né au Pérou, élève de J. Noël, Lehmann et Ferrier. - H. C. - A Monaco, avenue de la Gare .....

His origin in Tujillo rather than Lima is mentioned in a 1909 book called "The Old and the New Peru" by Marie Robinson Wright:

"Albert Lynch, also a Peruvian, a native of Trujillo, is among the famous painters at the French capital. "

The earliest mention of an 1851 birthdate I can find on google books comes in this snippet:

"The Mentor-world Traveler - Volume 15 - Page 32"

MANON — From a painting by Albert Lynch Albert Lynch was born in Lima, Peru, in 1851, but was essentially a French painter of the Paris schools. He studied in Paris and won his first medal in the Salon in 1890, two others being awarded "

Oliver Perry,

Sorry, I should have said that the quoe from the "The Mentor-world Traveler" is from 1927.

Osmund Bullock,

Quite a bit in the Oct 1893 issue of Scribner’s Magazine about Albert Lynch as a famous young Parisian illustrator: (and following page).

Nothing of his origins and age, however, except that “he is still a young man”, and seven years earlier (1886) was described as “a slender youth, very pale and delicate-looking”. But it does confirm he lived in Avenue de Villiers, as given in the marriage banns three years later.

Osmund Bullock,

Inspired by Oliver, here are a couple of images with cheated/combined Google Books snippets of two earlier catalogues of the Paris Salon. They indicate that Lynch was already exhibiting a painting (a portrait) there in 1889 - and ditto a drawing (another portrait) as early as 1881. Lima is given as his birthplace in both.

2 attachments
Justin Grant-Duff,

A very beautiful young woman in a pale blue chiffon dress. Exquisite colours, clear flesh paints, remarkable complexion, and stunningly serene persona. I bet she was pure and honourable as her pre-Raphaelite stylised perfection; a very model of idealism in her calm poise and studied gaze. Rather better than all those modern Selfies! I think.

Justin Grant-Duff,

It sounds like you already have a biog wrapped up here, but here are some details in "The Dict. of British Artists, 1880-1940".

At least one of Albert Lynch's paintings was sold for over £100 in a major Auction Gallery between 1970-75 and is listed in the Art Sales Index.
He was known to be a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.
He also had at least one major exhibition in 1893. (which was prob. at the RSPP).

Lou Taylor, Dress and Textiles,

I am not making comment at all on birth/death dates for Albert Lynch-sorry - but just to confirm that his style of sentimental, nostalgic genre painting of overly pretty and overly sexualised young women dressed up in fanciful versions of historic period dress was typical of many genre painters of late 19th-early 20th century, who also dressed their sitters up in versions of historic dress, isn’t it. (See Lynch attachment 1- ’Flower Seller‘- model wears an altered silk brocade dress of c 1770 and a fanciful bonnet.) Talbot Hughes is the perfect example. His huge dress collection was bought by Harrods, exhibited there c 1910 and finally donated to the V and A in 1913.

This Lynch painting of the girl in the white muslin hood reflects the vogue for revival fashions of the 1780s coming out of Paris couture houses into wider usage in about 1903-7 - basis of the ‘S bend’ look. - for fashions of the 1780s. I attach 2 Lynch’s portrait of ‘Young Woman in Hat‘- which mimics the Duchess of Devonshire/Gainsborough style, though the sitter’s hair is typical of c 1905 fashions.

As to the hooded cape portrait under discussion here- there was a big fashion for very delicately, finely pleated silk chiffon and fine cotton muslin pleating c 1900-1905-6- used on collars, capes, dresses. I attach 3, chiffon and silk Opera Cloak, Worth, Paris, 1890- 1900 V and A no. T.86.1991, albeit without hood. Image 4 is a hooded silk evening cape, by Redfern, about 1900-7, sold at auction house. ‘Vintagetextile.)
I hope this is of interest.

Osmund Bullock,

Andrea, that would indeed be an interesting article to see. Your link has fallen foul of Art Detective's problem with the per-cent symbol - try this instead:

Justin, thanks for that, though I think you've misinterpreted Lynch's entry in the British Artists book (which I have): it just means that he exhibited one work at the RSPP in 1893, not that he was a member or held an exhibition himself.

Very interesting, Lou. Your input on the dress style/date of the two pastels originally attached would be valuable - I take them to be 1920s.

Osmund Bullock,

Another great find, Oliver. He exhibited, too, in 1880:
And the full version of his 1881 entry of which I found a snippet is also in the collection:
Thereafter there are sadly no full catalogues viewable, but his first known exhibited painting of 1889 (portraits of children...) was noted and admired in an informal, narrative style of review:
And his first (3rd class) prizewinner in 1890, 'En Mer', is both admired and illustrated by a more serious critic: and
The composition is indeed charming - I'm attaching a cropped blow-up. How sad that someone capable of such imaginative and modern work should drift into rather trite and mawkish ways.

1 attachment
Osmund Bullock,

Actually, after further delving I find there *are* more post-1881 full Paris Salon catalogues viewable on, though finding them is a challenge - they have varying titles depending on the library that uploaded them. There are ones from 1882, 1884-85, 1889-91, 93, 95 & 97. In all of them Lynch exhibited - and the first oil painting he showed (as opposed to drawing/watercolour) was in fact in 1882. For anyone interested, I'm attaching a combined PDF of all the relevant pages with his exhibits 1879-1897 (excluding the missing seven years, of course).

Osmund Bullock,

Knowing (from the banns declaration) the arrondissement (17ème) and approximate date, I have now found on the official Paris online archives website an image of the original ‘Acte de mariage’ for Alberto Fernando Lynch, “peintre domicilié 147 Avenue de Villiers” and Maria Anna Victoria Bacouël on 28th October 1896. I have saved the image (which I attach), but if you want to see it online go to , insert the relevant info into the search boxes and scroll through the results to page 9.

There is much useful information there, but the most interesting for us is Albert Lynch’s date and place of birth. The document states that he was born on 26th September 1860 at (somewhat surprisingly) “Gleisweiler (Bavière)”. Gleisweiler is now in the German Rhineland Palatinate, but was part of France 1798-1814, before being handed over to Bavarian administration after the fall of Napoleon. So the old Wikipedia information still visible on the French National Library info page is probably all correct, despite being subsequently “corrected” to varying degrees on the English, French and German Wiki pages, all without references – thus displaying rather neatly the inherent unreliability of Wikipedia.

I might have suspected some error, perhaps deliberate, on Albert’s part; but among those present and officially witnessing the ceremony and signing the Act were Albert’s mother Adelaide Koeffler, his (much older) brother Jules Lynch, his nephew Edgard Lynch, and his (again much older) brother-in-law Auguste Petitet. This must surely make the information highly likely to be sound.

There remains the problem of why he insisted on saying he was born in Peru – even if it was originally a mistake by the Société des Artistes Français, I can’t believe Albert would have inadvertently failed to correct it in the Salon catalogues for nearly 20 years. The answer must lie partly in a strong Peruvian national pride – but perhaps even more in the depth of French anti-German sentiment in the 1870s and beyond. The Siege of Paris, and the devastating bombardments of the city that accompanied it, had taken place just eight or so years before his first Salon exhibition – and the fact that his place of birth was not only in Germany, but in an area once part of France, would doubtless have made matters even worse.

Oliver Perry,

This is probably a transcription error, but I've found the christening record on Familysearch for Albertus Fernando Luerch, son of Diego Luerch and Emiliae Adelheid Koeffler at the Catholic church in Gleisweiler, Pfalz, on 21 March, 1861:

Oliver Perry,

I must admit I was getting a bit uneasy about the lack of anecdotes about his fascinating childhood in Peru, which, surely the journalists would have included if they could. All I found was of his early life was this, from an 1894 interview syndicated in an Australian newspaper:

M. Lynch related that his grandfather was a painter also, and that his own vocation 'had doubtless been decided by the little boxes of water colors which the former had given him on great occasions.' With these colors he had created formless things which (for him alone) had the gift of representing Napoleon was the idol of his grandfather, who was continually painting him under, every aspect, in the gray overcoat and in grand pomp, full face, back, and three-quarters.

His maternal grandfather, Thomas Koeffler, was indeed a painter, as this description of a document in the Bavarian State archive (Koeffler, Thomas, Maler in Paris, auf Veranlassung von Georg Koeffler in den Gärten bei Landau; und andere) sent from Paris in, I think, 1857-8 indicates:

Thomas Koeffler's marriage in Landau in 1829:
Albert Lynch's mothers birth:

So those "little boxes of watercolours" seem to have been given to him in Germany, or just possibly France, rather than Peru.

Osmund Bullock,

More great finds, Oliver. I looked for a christening, too, but drew a complete blank! So the 2003 Tajan catalogue was quite right; and furthermore Albert was not only born in Germany, but was half-German himself, and thoroughly so - all four of his maternal gt-grandparents have German names. No wonder he was anxious to reinvent his origins for French consumption. In the 1911 'Studio' article you found earlier it even states that his mother was "originally of French extraction" (though it does mention her family's artistic background).

Oliver Perry,

I've traced the death registration of Albert Lynch's father, Diego, which gives a bit of clarification to his Peruvian roots. Described as a "rentier", Diego Lynch died on 7 September 1882 at his home at Rue Saint Augustine 24 in Asnières . He was 60 years old, and his place of birth is given as "Chacha Poyas" (nowadays usually written "Chachapoyas"), Peru. The document also confirms Albert Lynch's birthdate of 1860, describing him as "artiste peintre, agé de vingt deux ans".

Not sure how to give a link but follow from this one to Actes d'état-civil - Asnières - Décès - and it's on page 76 of the volume for 1882.

Osmund Bullock,

You must be psychic, Oliver. For the last week I've been collating information from the dozen and a half Paris actes d'état-civil (BMD registrations) that I've found relating to the family, but the one I couldn't see was for Diego's death (though I’d deduced it must be between 1876 & 1892). He was actually 70 rather than 60 - I think the '-dix' is hidden round the curve of the page.

The full Paris registration ‘acts’ of births, deaths and marriages from 1860 onwards are incredibly informative: . Earlier ones, 8 million of them, were completely destroyed by the Communards in 1871, though about one-third have since been reconstructed – the most basic details of these are also now online. The later ones are hard to penetrate because of the listing by arrondissement only – there are no overall indexes. But there are 18 detailed vital records between 1863 & 1901 that relate to Albert Lynch and his kin (including his 1896 marriage already described), and four basic records from the 1840s/50s. They are mainly from the 9th & 17th arrondissements of NW-central Paris, with a few adjacent. I’ve also found some relevant Peruvian baptism entries on Familysearch, together with a couple of UK (London) marriage and census entries; and to these we can add the various important records found by Oliver. Most unusually, almost all the details discovered are precisely consistent and mutually supportive.

These together give us a fairly good picture of the family, its origins in Peru, and its activities in France (and England and the USA). I’m putting together and will attach a couple of PDFs with images of the documents for anyone interested, but I’ll also describe the main facts and events narratively.

Osmund Bullock,

Right, here goes. It's clear from the vital records that the family's main activities were mercantile: most of the males whose occupation is recorded are merchants, or employed in commerce, or a “rentier” (of private means, often a retired annuitant). Albert and his elder brother Jules (who briefly flirted with journalism before returning to trade) seem to have been the only two involved in anything else. Despite this I've found almost no other evidence of the family's commercial (or indeed residential) existence. This may be in part because of a paucity of available French sources - the only C19th Paris directories online seem to be the Bottin commercial ones for the period 1855-1863. It may be, too, that there was never a family company operating in France (or at least one bearing the Lynch name), and its members were employed by others.

The two brothers who came to France, José Maria Manuel and Diego Lynch (‘Linche’), were born and baptised in Chachapoyas, Peru in Oct 1810 and Nov 1812, the sons of Juan (alias Lucas) Linche and Maria Manuela Rodgriguez. Chachapoyas is in the mountains, hundreds of miles inland; but the coastal city of Trujillo is probably its closest port, and the sugar and coffee grown in the highlands may well have been exported from there. No link has been established, but a 1914 US directory of S. America lists a “J E Lynch” as a commercial agent there – and a fine old house called Casa Lynch still stands in Trujillo today.

Though it’s not quite certain, it looks as if they may both have married and had families locally in the 1830s/40s, but at some point thereafter both left South America for Europe and the USA, and ultimately (?re)married there. On 26th August 1851 in Paris, the younger, Diego, became the father of a son, Jules (alias Julio) Maria Lynch; and later documents state that Diego married the child’s mother, Adele Bertha Emma (alias Adelaide) Koeffler in New York on 9th May 1852. He was 39, she just 17. Amazingly, a few years later in London, the older brother, José – by then 46 years old – followed suit with Adele’s younger sister, Emma Bertha, who was only 16: apparently already living together, they were married at St George’s Bloomsbury on 30th July 1856. José is there described as a bachelor and a gentleman (both of which I slightly doubt) – his father Juan is a ‘merchant’. In the licence Emma’s father, the landscape artist Thomas Koeffler, is declared to have given his consent to the marriage: he seems to have been a man of very liberal (or at least bohemian) views, granted his other daughter Adele must have conceived Jules when she was only 15. But as we will see, the two families’ Catholicism doesn’t seem to have restrained their reproductive timing.

Osmund Bullock,

I’ve just revisited the brothers in Peru, and I could have been too hard on Albert’s uncle José: he might have been a bachelor after all when he married in 1856. Although I’ve found two children – possibly illegitimate – born in northern Peru in 1838 & 1840 whose father’s name means they could have been his, the evidence is inconclusive. But it rather looks as if I wasn’t hard enough on Albert’s father Diego. Every year or two between 1838 and 1844, with no overlaps, someone (or ones) of his name fathered a child – five of them, by five different mothers, and all bar one were baptised in Chachapoyas (the odd one out being not far away):;=+any_year:1835-1855~ +father_givenname:diego +father_surname:linch* +record_country:Peru
So if he was indeed responsible, it’s no wonder he fled or was sent to Paris – where, of course, he immediately repeated the exercise with a 15-year old. Well, actually it’s possible Adele was 16, but only just.

As for the Trujillo mystery, I’ve now found Christian name evidence that the ‘J E Lynch’ listed as an agent there in 1914 was indeed a cousin, and that he did live in Casa Lynch on the Plaza de Armas. José E. Lynch was one of the founding directors of the Trujillo Chamber of Commerce in 1902, and he is doubtless the ‘Don José E. Linch’ whose new-born son Lucas died in July 1907 at the family home in la Calle de Indepencia - Independence Street runs down the side of the house, the oldest in the city. Coupled with the existence of a different Alberto Lynch, with middle initial ‘M’, born at Trujillo circa 1868, it is easy to see how Marie Robinson Wright jumped to the wrong conclusion in her 1909 book.

Osmund Bullock,

Sorry, the link doesn't work - those pesky per-cent symbols again. I'll put the Familysearch results page on the document image PDF and post in due course. Meanwhile trust me - there really are are five of them.

Osmund Bullock,

Diego had five further children with Adele after Jules: a daughter, Adele Emma Josephine Lynch (presumably theirs, but just possibly José and Emma’s), who died at Paris in March 1858; a son Diego Thomas born early in 1858 and baptised at Gleisweiler in the Palatinate (Pfalz) the following September (he died 1863 at Paris aged five); our artist Albert Fernando Lynch, also born/baptised at Gleisweiler Sept 1860/Mar 1861; a daughter Victoria born in Paris March 1865 (and married there in Sept 1892); and finally another Diego born at Paris in Nov 1872, but dying there just four months later. Gleisweiler is close to Germersheim where Diego senior’s wife Adele was born in 1835, and was presumably his father-in-law Thomas’s home. But that the artist also lived in Paris is clear from that 1857-8 document Oliver found, and from his presence at the births (and one death) there of several grandchildren and gt-grandchildren between 1863 and 1875. So Albert’s “little boxes of watercolours” could indeed have been given to him by his grandfather in France as well as Germany.

Thomas Koeffler, who was born at Landau in 1803, died at Paris in May 1877. The later claim that the family was "originally of French extraction" was in fact technically true – at the time of his birth Landau, and much of die Pfalz was part of the French Republic (and had been occupied by the French long before that). Although the Pfälzer people were essentially Germanic, and spoke a German dialect, even after it was united with Bavaria it retained the Code Napoléon and was proud of its French political heritage. Thomas may well have been a French citizen.

Osmund Bullock,

A tiny correction: Thomas Koeffler’s birth was in 1804, not 1803.

For a short while in the 1870s Albert’s elder brother Jules is described as a journalist, but I can find no trace of anything written by him. He is mainly recorded as ‘employed in commerce’, and the only mention of his existence outside the BMDs is as such, listed in an 1886 record of a business property transaction. He married at Paris in Dec 1876 Marie Jacqueline, thereby under French law legitimising the child she had borne him two years earlier, Edgard Marie Lynch (b. Paris Sept 1874). They had two more children together, Marcel Emile (b.1875) and Marcelle Marie (b.1883), but both died within a month. Twenty-five years later, in March 1901, Edgard followed his father Jules’s example by marrying Marie Labonne, the mother of his now-legitimised daughter Suzanne (b. June 1900). Edgard’s grandfather (and Albert’s father) Diego Lynch had a house in the NW Paris suburb of Asnières-sur-Seine (well-known from paintings by Seurat and Van Gogh), and it was there, Oliver has discovered, that he died in December 1882, aged 70.

Meanwhile Albert’s uncle José – the one who married Emma Koeffler in London in 1856 – had three daughters. It’s almost a surprise to find they were all born in wedlock: Pepita Bertas [sic] Adele (b. Paris March 1857), Lucia Amanda (b. Lima, Peru Nov 1860) and Gabrielle (b. Paris Jan 1863). So it seems that José, at least, returned to his homeland for a visit, though there’s nothing to show that Diego ever did. The three girls survived early childhood, and are unexpectedly listed with their parents in the 1871 UK Census: José is a ‘gentleman’ born in Peru, and they are boarders at the Bedford Coffee House in Percy Street (off Tottenham Ct Rd) – an area apparently popular with French, Spanish and Latin American émigrés, many of whom are listed nearby. I don’t know about the other two, but Lucia married at Paris in May 1895. Her father José had died in the city in January of the previous year: his age was 83, and the death registration not only gives his place of birth (Chachapoyas, like his brother), but also the full names of both his parents, Juan Lynch and Maria Manuela (Rodriguez).

Manchester Art Gallery,

Well that was an interesting Friday afternoon read.

Can we now all agree and conclude that Albert Lynch was actually born in Germany and not Peru and that this information can now pass into fact? As well as his DOB being 26th September 1860 & DOD 1950? Can the moderator bring the discussion to close with this?

I do feel that someone needs to correct Wikipedia with all this information or at least collate it into a proper document. There is simply too much research, effort, and brilliant detective work for it to sit hidden in Art Detective. I for one would like to attach it all onto Lynch's record on our database. Round of applause.

Osmund Bullock,

Thanks so much for your comments, Manchester, they are hugely appreciated. Could we leave closure for a week, as I have a few more discoveries about the family to post, along with pdfs combining all the documentary evidence? I will also try and collate and summarize the whole story, as Manchester suggests. These together can provide the basis for a fundamental re-writing (and expansion) of the Wiki article on Albert Lynch (much of which is wrong), and provide the necessary references to support the new version.

Jade Audrey King,

I wanted to give Osmund a chance to post again before this was closed, but I think we can agree the Art UK record can be updated to Albert Lynch (1860–1950).

The nationalities of artists on Art UK are pulled through from a version of the ULAN database (currently reads 'French, British' for Lynch).