Lucien-Victor Guirand de Scevola

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Biography of Lucien-Victor Guirand de Scevola ( 1871-1950 )

A student of Fernand Cormon at École des beaux-arts de Paris, Guirand de Scévola specialised in pastels. He exhibited throughout his career in Paris at the Salon des artistes français, then at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, of which he became a member, then a member of the committee, and finally president in 1937, replacing the landscape artist André Dauchez. He was also a member and then President of the Société des pastellistes de France. 

In 1906, he married the actress Marie-Thérèse Piérat, member of the Comédie Française. A pillar of Parisian bohemian and artistic life, Guirand de Scévola frequented many artists, the Cabaret des Quat'z'Aerts and was part of the Mortigny circle. Guirand de Scévola created the sets for several plays in which his wife acted and illustrated the stories she published. 

A painter of flowers, still lifes, alcove scenes and landscapes, Guirand de Scévola had a brilliant career as a portrait painter, executing, among others, the portraits of numerous public and social figures (Duke of Massa, the Duchesses of Uzès and Brissac, etc.) both in France and in Buenos Aires. 

However, from 1894 onwards, his works bear witness to a pronounced interest in symbolism, which was then flourishing on the walls of various artistic events. This idealist period, which is very much in demand in the artist's corpus, is characterised by the representation of female faces in a medieval atmosphere, evoking princesses, heroines and witches directly inspired by the Italian Renaissance and the Pre-Raphaelites.

Mobilized at the beginning of the Great War, Lucien-Victor Guirand de Scévola is considered as one of the inventors of military camouflage with Eugène Corbin, a soldier from Nancy and friend, and the decorator Louis Guignot; together, they would have had the idea of covering artillery pieces with painted canvases that would blend in with the landscape to avoid being spotted by the enemy. 

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