BOUTET de MONVEL Bernard
MISS ANN HOLMES, 1928
Oil on canvas: 69 x 33.5 cm / 27.2 x 13.2 ins
Signed lower left
Painter of portraits, (urban) landscapes and flowers; etcher and illustrator.
Bernard Boutet de Monvel was the son and pupil of Louis Boutet de Monvel. He went on to study under Luc-Olivier Merson and the sculptor Jean Dampt.
Boutet de Monvel exhibited in Paris from 1903 at the Salon des Artistes Français and then at the Salon d’Automne and he became a member of both societies. In 1910 he took part in the Great Exhibition in Brussels and in the Humorists Exhibition in Copenhagen. From 1923 to 1928 he was a member of the Salon des Tuilleries committee. He was also an illustrator and produced work for the “Gazette du Bon Ton” in 1912-1913 and André Maurois’ celebrated “Silences du Colonel Bramble”. He spent every winter in the USA, where he was highly regarded, both for his talent as a society portraitist and for his refined dandyism. He was made Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur.
In both his portraits and his New York landscapes his technique displays a cold precision in which no detail is allowed to take priority over any other and no personal emotion is shown, to such an extent that his ‘portraits’ of the city of New York have been compared with the purist style of Ozenfant and Jeanneret. He also painted Moroccan landscapes in an entirely different style, using muted tones and spirited, heavily applied pigments.
Boutet de Monvel died in the aircraft accident in which also the violonist Ginette Neveu and the boxing champion Marcel Cerdan died.
In 1993, a collection of his paintings was exhibited at the Galerie Verneuil Saints-Pères in Paris.
Paris 1884 - 1949
Aurillac - Boulogne-Billancourt - Lille - Tours
E. Bénézit, "Dictionary of Artists", Paris 2006, Vol. 2, p. 1050.
Stéphane-Jacques Addade, "Bernard Boutet de Monvel", Paris 2016, illustration p. 280.