Georges d'Espagnat

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Biography of Georges d'Espagnat ( 1870-1950 )

French painter and engraver, Georges d'Espagnat was born in Melun in 1870. In 1888, he started studying at the School of Decorative Arts and at the School of Fine Arts, before making copies at the Louvre museum. In 1892, he participated in the Salon des Independents and, in 1894-95, exhibited at Le Barc de Boutteville.

D’Espagnat travelled a lot, went to Morocco in 1898 and then visited Europe from 1905 to 1910, producing many watercolors. From 1904 he exhibited frequently at Durand-Ruel, Bernheim and Druet. In 1921, he moved to Quercy, a region that inspired him with many landscapes.

D'Espagnat made more than a thousand canvases, using the vivid colors of the « Fauvist » painters, highlighting them with darker lines like in Renoir's works. His intimate portraits of writers and artists (« Paul Valéry », 1910), his outdoor scenes, his compositions with several characters (« Couseuses », 1898) and his still lifes looked like the ones of Bonnard and Vuillard.

D'Espagnat was also a draftsman for the magazines "Le Courrier français" and then "le Rire", illustrator for "les Oraisons mauvaises" by Rémy de Gourmont (1897), "Le Centaure" by Maurice Guérin (1900) and "l'Immortel" Alphonse Daudet (1930).

He also made wall decorations in Vilennes-sur-Seine for the villa of Dr. Vian (1900), for the town hall of Vincennes (1936), the boat « Normandie » (1935) and the Palais du Luxembourg (1939), as well as decors of theater for « Fantasio » by Musset and « Barber of Seville » by Beaumarchais.

Several retrospectives were dedicated to his work: at Durand-Ruel in 1962 and 1967, at the Alençon Museum of Fine Arts in 1987 and at the Marly-le-Roi museum in 1996.

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