Oil on canvas: 100 x 73 cm;
signed ‘Cassigneul’ (lower-right)
and signed, titled verso
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Contemporary French artist Jean-Pierre Cassigneul was born in Paris in 1935. Already at the young age of 17, and before receiving classical training in the Fine Arts, Cassigneul held his first private exhibition at the Galerie Lucy Krogh in Paris. Two years later, in 1954, he entered the Academie Charpentier and studied under Jean Souverbie, a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris. Souverbie soon recognised Cassigneul’s talent and convinced him to enroll at the L’Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, which resulted in Cassigneul passing his entrance examination a year later.
From 1956 until 1960 Cassigneul was instructed by the French painter Roger Chapelain-Midy. During this period, he held many exhibitions in Paris, including his first exhibition at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts and was appointed a member of the Salon d’Automne. Several years after his first exhibition at the Gallery Bellechasse in Paris in 1965 he had a contract with the gallery. Having also had a private exhibition at the Galerie Tivey-Faucon in Paris, he met Kiyoshi Tamenaga who would become his art dealer in Japan. He first showed his work at the International Exhibition of Figurative Art in Tokyo and Cassigneul has been extremely popular there ever since. In 1968, Wally Findlay becomes his dealer in the United States. Throughout the 1970s, Jean Pierre Cassigneul exhibited extensively throughout Europe, Japan and the United States. In 2005, when Cassigneul became 70, an exhibition was organized to celebrate 50-years of Cassigneul’s art, that travelled throughout seven major cities in Japan celebrating Cassigneul decided early in his career to pursue multiple disciplines, and became extremely proficient as a painter, lithographer, engraver, illustrator and muralist. His illustrated for instance several books, including ‘Les Pièces condamnées’ by Charles Baudelaire and ‘Le Tour de Malheur’ by Joseph Kessel.
He became most famous however for his portraits of beautiful woman. His flair for well-structured compositions of strikingly elegant women has infused his paintings with a sentimental nostalgia to the early, more carefree days, and combine the beauty of fashion and humanity at leisure. Touches of Impressionist and Fauvist elements blend in his own unique style. Also the early 20th century French Post-Impressionist group called Les Nabis, with artists like Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Félix Vallotton, profoundly influenced Cassigneul. Les Nabis, meaning ‘the prophets’ in Hebrew, were considered very avant-garde at the time. They used bright or flat colours, compressed or multiple spaces to portray everyday subject matter. Les Nabis were also inspired by Japanese coloured woodblock prints and decorative arts that were just starting to trend in England. Additionally, Cassigneul’s work reminds us of that of the expressionist painter Kees van Dongen, especially in his dramatic elongated and stylized woman, his strong lines and use of intense and vibrant colour.
Acquired directly from the artist by a Dutch collector.