Maurice Brianchon (1899-1979)

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Born in Fresnaye in the Sarthe, Maurice Brianchon began his artistic career at the age of 18. Studying at the école des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Brianchon met and became involved with a group of artists who practiced “poetical reality.” This group of artists would later have an exhibition of their work which was inspired by Vuillard and Bonnard in 1957.




Le Vallon 1920

However, success would come to Brianchon far before that. He had his first exhibition at the age of 23 at the Salon D’Automne, and would win the Prix Plumenthol the following year. He would also later be chosen to represent France at the Venice Biennial in 1934 along with fellow artist Claude Monet. That same year, Brianchon would marry fellow artist Marguerite Louppe, and in 1936 would return to école des Arts Décoratifs as a teacher.


Le Bief sur La Dronne en Dordogne

Brianchon did not limit himself to strictly one particular subject in his painting. He would equally paint city scenes and landscapes as well as horse races, theater and dance hall scenes and still life. He also worked just as widely in mediums from oils and pastels to ink and charcoal and lithographs.


Bouquet de fleurs dans l’atelier


Paysage de Niege


Still Life fruit, 1940, pastels


1955 lithography

Likewise, Brianchon’s style cannot be easily lumped into simply one category. While some may say Post-Impressionist, he is generally referred to as a Poetic Realist. Brianchon would typically sign his work on the bottom left or right side of his paintings with a fairly recognizable “Brianchon” signature.

Like so many in-demand artists of the time, Brianchon would not focus strictly on the canvas. He was often commissioned to create costume and set designs for plays, as well as book illustrations and even interior design.

Brianchon exhibited all over Europe, even showing in America in the 1950’s, but progressively slowing down and spending more time in his country home. In 1952 Brianchon was even given the great honor of being named one of the official artists for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Even though the artist was sticking closer to home, Brianchon managed to create art and work right up until his death in 1979.


Blond a sa Toilette, 1957

Today his work is housed in public and private collections world-wide, including the Musée National de Art Moderne in Paris. Because he was so widely traveled and worked well into the late 20th century, it is highly likely that his art is privately owned virtually anywhere.

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