Beautiful Acrobat painting, pastel on paper 16“ x 9 1/2“ framed in a gold baroque. Frame excellent condition and signed
Maurice Brianchon (French, 1899–1979) was born in 1899 in the village of Fresnay-sur-Sarthe to Parisian parents. After a classical education, he began his official art training at the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1917. Early public recognition of his talent came when, at the age of 23, he was appointed a member of the committee of the Salon d’Automne. The following year he won the Prix Blumenthal which enabled him to live in Spain for a time where he studied the paintings of the Spanish Masters, with a particular interest in Diego Velásquez.
1927 was a pivotal year for the young artist. His first solo exhibition took place at Galerie Le Portique in Paris, which led to two significant shows at Galerie Marcel Bernheim in 1930 and 1932. He also became a regular participant in important salons of the time, including the Salon d’Art Contemporain D’Anvers.
By 1934, Brianchon’s career was established. He exhibited at the Artistes de ce Temps at the Musée du Petit-Palais in Paris as well as the Venice Biennale. In the same year, Brianchon married fellow artist Marguerite Louppe. Destiny returned Brianchon to his alma mater in 1936 where he assumed the role of teacher.
Demand for the artist’s talents soon grew; however, not always in the traditional form of paintings on canvas. Brianchon embarked on a variety of endeavors at this time. These included designing stage sets for opera productions and ballets at the Paris Opera. Large mural commissions were executed along with his wife for the Conservatoire de Musique et Art Dramatique de Paris. Also, during this busy period, Brianchon produced illustrations for several books and cartoons for tapestries.
In 1949, Brianchon was appointed Chef d’Atelier de Peinture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His teachings there would profoundly influence the next generation of artists.
The 1950s brought Brianchon national and international acclaim. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs presented a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Palais du Louvre in 1951. This led to a solo exhibition at the Wildenstein Gallery in London later that year. In June 1953, Brianchon received a request from the British Government to attend the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in order to document the ceremony in paintings. His first American exhibition was hosted by David Findlay Galleries in New York in 1959.
In the following two decades, Brianchon began spending less time in Paris and more time at his country home, Les Truffiers, in Périgord, which eventually affected his paintings. The dynamic images of horse races, theater stages, and street scenes painted by the young artist enamored with city life were gradually replaced by the equally beautiful, though more relaxed and contemplative, landscapes and still lifes of a mature artist savoring his elder years in the country.
Brianchon continued to exhibit regularly in the art centers of the world until his death in 1979. As a tribute to the artist on the 25th anniversary of his death, David Findlay Galleries presented an exhibition highlighting Brianchon’s distinguished career.