Marcel Gromaire (1892-1971)
Marcel Gromaire was a French Expressionist painter and designer born in Noyelles-sur-Sambre. Gromaire originally studied law in Paris, and even received his diploma, but he is essentially drawn to art. While he was beginning his own independent studies, Gromaire was called away to fight in the war from 1912 until 1916 when he was wounded. While serving in the war, Gromaire continued to draw and sketch while traveling and fighting all over Europe. Not surprisingly, the war was also an influence on Gromaire’s work and is echoed in a number of his compositions.
While Gromaire was essentially a self-taught artist, he would often frequent the studios in Montparnasse to study his fellow artists. Matisse was a big influence on Gromaire, and he was able to study his style briefly at the Academie de la Palette and the Academie Ranson.
In 1919, Gromaire was able to return to Paris where he began to receive some notoriety as a painter. His work is highly admired by one Dr. Girardin who bought a great deal of his paintings. Upon Dr. Girardin’s death in 1953, some 80 oil paintings were donated to the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. These post-war paintings show a German-Impressionist influence, as well as Gromaire’s interest in Flemish art.
During his lifetime, Gromaire exhibited extensively in the United States, Germany and France. He won the Legion of Honor in 1954, and also the National Guggenheim prize in 1956. Gromaire also taught at the Ecole Nationale Superieure from 1950 to 1962 as a professor. Not just an artist, Gromaire was also a writer and often wrote critiques and opinion articles about art and cinema.
Gromaire’s art is not nearly as well known as his contemporaries, but his artistic talent is undeniable, and his compositions are still highly valued at auction today. Furthermore, his style was never the same, perhaps making it hard for one to distinguish whether one of their prized family heirloom paintings was indeed by Gromaire or not. In fact, it appears that Gromaire was even inspired by Cubism for his 1950 painting “Blonde Nude at the Window”.
Whether it is a sketch of a nude or a political post-World War I painting you may own, let us help you determine whether it was painted by Marcel Gromaire.