Born in 1871 in a family of craftsmen, incidentally, in a Parisian cellar during a bombardment.
Deeply religious and touched by human misery, his paintings transmit a dramatic tension that will be spotted by the great 20th century art dealer Ambroise Vollard, revealer of Van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso. In 1917 he acquires 770 paintings for 49,510 francs.
When Mr. Vollard dies, in 1939, he owns 563 signed paintings and 819 unfinished, unsigned ones. A resounding trial will follow between the heirs and the painter.
"Due to his age and the transformation of his technique, he finds it impossible to complete paintings started many years ago." He will eventually recover them and burn a few hundreds.
Contemporary of Cubism, Expressionism and Fauvism, he is exhibited at MOMA in NY as well as in the Vatican, which describes a language "very personal, which defines the forms with vivid brushstrokes that we find throughout his career. ". The painter calls it an “instinctive movement” inspired by the need not to fall into the conventional religious subject.
He died at the age of 86, one of the few artists to have received a national funeral.
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