Here are sixteen painters of widely varying geographical and national origins but with one thing in common—they have all loved France and depicted her faces, her fields, her changing skies. Here are their self-portraits, sixteen personal expressions—and again one thing in common: the casual line, the calligraphic nourish, the seemingly improvised sketch concealing the artists' years of study and exercise.
YVES BRAVER (Born Versailles, 1907) is the painter of the hot south: the Midi, La Camargue—even Spain—and of horses, fêtes, sun-flooded town squares.
HENRI MATISSE (Born Cateau, Nord, 1869—died Vence, 1955). His magistral simplicity now delights the world, but his first exhibition brought chalked warnings on the walls of Montparnasse—“Matisse is as dangerous as absinthe!”
CARZOU (the Midi, 1907) is represented in collections everywhere, and in recent years his extraordinary decors for Les Indes Galantes, Le Loup, Giselle and Athalie have made his name a household word for the theatre-going public.
MAURICE BRIANCHON (1899, in the Sarthe) is in the line of Vuillard, prefers a muted palette for his strong canvases of horsemen, moody landscapes, his decors for the Opera and Comedie.
ROGER CHAPELAIN-MIDY (Paris, 1904) studied engineering before turning to painting; has created huge quantities of tapestry designs, illustrations, decors.
MARCEL VERTÉS (born Roumania). His dashing sketch here is representative of his tender and impudent paintings, his famous advertisements for Schiaparelli, his theatre designs, his galant drawings for private editions.
MASSIMO CAMPIGLIO (Florence, 1895) came to Paris for Italian newspaper in 1919, discovered Montparnasse and painting at one fell swoop, has created a "Campigli woman", as personal an image as Vertès’ gamine.
ANTONI CLAVE (Barcelona, 1913) is Spanish and exuberant. He prefers a predominance of purple, scarlet and black for his decorative canvases, and for such ballet settings as his famous Carmen for Roland Petit.
MARC CHAGALL (Vitebsk, 1887) left Russia for Paris in 1922, has lived there save for war years in New York, lately has settled near Vence to work in graphic processes, never leaving his chosen subjects from poetry and the folktale.
JACQUES VILLON (1875, in the Eure) has embraced more trends than perhaps even Picasso, has found his ideal expression in his latest bright prismatic abstractions of things seen.
RAYMOND SAVIGNAC (1907) is a poster artist of great elegance and drollery, beloved of the Parisian public and now conquering America with his Life advertisements.
FERNAND LÉGER (1881, at Argentan) draws himself as a scowling Maître, at variance with the highly-colored gaiety of his monumental canvases.
FONTANA-ROSA (Paris, 1912) loves hunting, has painted bold still-lives of pheasants and rabbits, landscapes in autumnal richness.
FOUJITA (Tokyo, 1886) has been in Paris since 1913, toured the world four times, has never lost his love for girls, cats, and roses.
BERNARD BUFFET (Paris, 1926) first exhibited at the Salon d’Automne of 1947, was quickly recognised as most promising of the younger painters, won the Prix de la Critique in 1948.
KEES VAN DONGEN (Delfshaven,Holland, 1877) was a house-painter and porter in Les Halles before selling his first pictures, and finally exhibited with the Fauves, of which group he is sole survivor.