Algiers, 30 Sept 1865; d Le Vésinet, 24 Sept 1953.
French painter and potter.
From 1879 he studied at the Ecole Supérieure de Dessin et de Sculpture in Paris. In his
first exhibition at the Salon in 1882 he showed a small porcelain plaque depicting the Birth
of Venus in the style of Alexandre Cabanel and he continued to exhibit there
regularly. From 1886 to 1895 he worked as a decorator of earthenware and then as artistic
director of the studio of Clément Massier (c. 18451917) at Golfe Juan, near
Cannes. Around 1892 he signed his first pieces of earthenware inspired by Islamic ceramics
and made a name for himself primarily as a potter at the Salon des Artistes Français in
1895. An innovator in ceramic shapes, techniques and glazes, he participated in the
revival of the decorative arts at the end of the 19th century. During this period he spent
some time in Italy, notably in Venice where he familiarized himself with 15th-century
Italian art. In 1896 he exhibited for the first time at the Galerie Georges Petit: about
twenty pastels and paintings were displayed, revealing his individual style and gifts as a
portrait painter. The female form, influenced by the art of Leonardo and the
Pre-Raphaelites became, with landscape, one of his favoured themes and was invested with
mystery, using a technique at once full-bodied and refined (e.g. Eve, 1896; Paris,
Mus. dOrsay). In the 20th century he gradually departed from Symbolism except in
some representations of women illustrating the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, Gabriel
Fauré and Claude Debussy and in some landscapes (e.g. Winter, Petit Trianon, 1929;
Paris, Petit Pal.).