- Marcel Gromaire: portrait of an independant painter | Read more
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- Personal exhibitions & news | Read more
- Selected bibliographic notes | Read more
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Marcel Gromaire was born in 1892 in Noyelles-sur-Sambre (in the north of France).
After completing classical studies in Douai, then in Paris where his father was a high school teacher, he completed a legal degree, a career that he abandoned shortly afterwards.
He frequented various studios in Montparnasse.
He completed his military service in Lille. War broke out, he spent six years in the army and was injured in the Battle of the Somme.
Upon his return to Paris in 1919, he became the cinematography critic for the newspaper “Crapouillot”. He also did illustrations for the publication “Le Nouveau Spectateur”.
Gromaire´s notoriety was established and he met Doctor Girardin who, for the next 10 years, contracted Gromaire and purchased the entirety of his work.
Upon his death in 1953, Doctor Girardin bequeathed 78 of Gromaire´s oils as well as many watercolours to the Museum of Modern Art of Paris (Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris).
He moved to Villa Seurat and started to write his own personal notes (“Peinture” – 1921-1939, published in 1980, Denoël Publications) which he continued to do until his death in 1971. He successfully exhibited “La Guerre” in the Salon des Indépendants.
Retrospective at the Kunsthalle of Basel: a consecration.
The Universal Exhibition in Paris : he creates an important mural decoration for the Pavillon de Sèvres.
From 1939 to 1944
He lived at Aubusson and participated in the renovation of the art of tapestry with Jean Lurçat.
On wards, he exhibited at the Louis Carré Gallery.
Gromaire was nominated as a Professor at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des arts décoratifs where he remained until 1962.
He went to the United States as a jury member of the Carnegie Prize, awarded that year to Jacques Villon. This same prize was awarded to Gromaire in 1952.
He was decorated as a Commander of the Legion d´Honneur.
He was awarded the Guggenheim National Prize and, in 1958 the Grand Prix National des Arts.
Death of Marcel Gromaire at the age of 79.
Spokesman for independent art from 1920 to 1950, Gromaire is one of the most original and powerful artists of this century. He worked independently of the groups, the current trends and the schools, as did R. Dufy and Rouault, without giving in to the trends of the time.
His intellectual reasoning and the deep impression that he left on many students are an example of his simultaneously being a constant force yet before his time in French painting between 1920 and 1960. All of these qualities guaranty him a great place in art history, even though he has not yet achieved the honours that he deserves.
Gromaire painted approximately 750 oils. Seventy-eights of these, from the collection of Doctor Girardin are currently exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art of Paris (Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris).
His elaborate conception of each subject, his demands of “belle-ouvrage” make each of his canvases unique.
All of Gromaire´s oils are contained in the Catalogue raisonné of his paintings “Marcel Gromaire, La vie et l’œuvre” by François Gromaire and Françoise Chibret-Plaussu, La Bibliothèque des Arts, Paris, 1993.
Gromaire´s watercolours, of which there are relatively few (roughly 10 works a year, like his oils) are as constructed, lyrical and “mural” (the preferred expression of the artist) as the oils on canvas.
On the visible encre de chine support, Gromaire colours the painting with a very personal technique, playing with transparency, rhythms and superposition to make all the tones vibrate intensely.
The Catalogue raisonné of Gromaire´s watercolours is currently being prepared at Galerie de la Présidence.
Every morning at the same time, Gromaire commences drawing. The principal subject: the nude. For him, the notion of structure is of utmost importance. He attacks the page directly and very personally with encre de chine, alternating between simple sketches and more detailed drawings that can have the density of small black and white paintings.
He left one hundred notebooks of various sizes which are in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
All of the engraved works are reproduced in Volume I and II “L’oeuvre gravé de Marcel Gromaire”, François Gromaire, La Bibliothèque des Arts, Lausanne-Paris, 1976.
In 1976, François Gromaire, son of the painter, gave a collection of etchings to the town of Gravelines (municipal collection of art and original seals).
Advised by Laboreur, he started with woodcutting between 1918 and 1925. His preference when then to etchings.
This technique allowed him to perfect his work more than he could when working with wood, to take it up again after a break or from one state to another, and to succeed in the finish that we find in his ink drawings.
Apart from a few boards printed by his friend Pierre Dubreuil in his personal press, most of Gromaire´s etchings were printed by Paul Haasen and his son Raymond, both renowned engravers in their own right.
Of roughly 220 boards engraved on metal, 150 were produced between the two wars.
Works illustrated by Gromaire
- “L’Homme Troupe” Follow-up of 10 engravings by Gromaire. Edition 25, Japan, 300 vélin d’Arches, 26 chapel examples. A la Belle Edition, Paris, 1918.
- “Ruptures” By Noël Bureau. Woodcutting by Gromaire. Edition 5 Holland, 20 Holland, 100 vergé alfa, 600 vélin bouffant. Editions Rythme et Synthèse, Paris 1925.
- “Portrait de la France” By René Jouglet, Lille. Frontispice by Gromaire. Edition 50 Japan, 100 Holland, 1500 vélin Lafuma. Editions Emile-Paul Frères, Paris 1926.
- “Vers un monde volage” By Henri Hertz. Illustrated with 10 original etchings by Gromaire. Edition of one copy with the drawings, 25 Japon, 225 vélin d’Arches, 20 out of commercial circulation. Editions Marcel Seheur, Paris 1926.
- “Petits poèmes en prose” By Charles Baudelaire. With 10 etchings engraved by Gromaire. 35 editions Holland, 300 vélin d’Arches, 25 out of commercial circulation. Editions des Quatre-Chemins, Paris 1926.
- “Marché aux puces” By Noël Bureau. Poems in prose accompanied by 6 original etchings by Gromaire, Goerg, Makowski, Dubreuil, Ralli, Per Krohg. Edition 200 vélin d’Arches. Editions Marcel Seheur, Paris 1930.
- “Memento des vivants” By Pierre Emmanuel. Etching by Gromaire. Edition 17 vélin d’Arches, 200 vélin de Lana. Editions du Seuil, Paris 1944.
- “Macbeth” By Shakespeare. Illustrated with 20 orignial etchings by Gromaire. 180 copies printed, 60 of which were published first with an extra part on Montval. Tériade, Paris 1958.
- He worked from 1919 to 1921 on the illustration of: “Le nouveau spectateur”.
- 1938 « La Terre ». 360 x 505 cm, weaving: Weaving shed Manufacture des Gobelins. Mobilier National.
- 1939 « Le Printemps » (Paris). 303 x 438 cm, weaving: Weaving shed Robert Four, Aubusson. Mobilier National.
- 1940 « L’Eté » (« La Bretagne »). 310 x 440 cm, weaving: Weaving shed Pinton, Aubusson-Felletin. Mobilier National.
« L’Automne » (« La Flandre »). 310 x 440 cm, weaving: Weaving shed Suzanne Goubely, Aubusson. Mobilier National.
« Aubusson ». 260 x 280 cm, weaving: Weaving shed Suzanne Goubely, Aubusson. Mobilier National.
« L’Hiver » (« La Grande Montagne »). 296 x 430 cm, weaving: Weaving shed Pinton, Aubusson-Felletin. Mobilier National.
- 1941 « Les Oiseaux de Proie », « Paysage à la Huppe », « La Mare aux Oiseaux » 180 x 200 cm, tissage : Atelier Suzanne Goubely, Aubusson. « Les Bûcherons de Mormal ». 260 x 300 cm, tissage : Atelier Suzanne Goubely, Aubusson.
- 1942 « L’Eau ». 353 x 491 cm, weaving: Weaving shed Manufacture des Gobelins. Mobilier National.
- 1937 State commission for the Universal Exhibition in Paris : Ceramic, for the Pavillon de Sèvres.
“L’Epargne”, for the Pavillon of National Solidarity.
“4 signs” for the Palais de la Découverte.
- 1938 State commission for the Faculty of Pharmacy of Paris.
- 1950 State commission, “L’Abolition de l’esclavage” for the Assembly of the French Union (currently at the Museum of Roubaix).
- 1921 Paris, Galerie La Licorne, Exhibition of Gromaire´s paintings, watercolours and drawings, 27 May to 9 June.
- 1923 Amsterdam, Galerie J-F. Van Deene, Exhibition of Gromaire´s painting and drawings, 4 to 25 January.
- 1923 Paris, Galerie La Licorne, Exhibition of paintings by Gromaire, 20 April to 4 May.
- 1925 Paris, Galerie Pierre, Paintings, watercolours and drawings by Gromaire, 8 to 22 May.
- 1926 Paris, Galerie Barbazanges, Gromaire, paintings (1919-1926), 15 to 27 February.
- 1929 Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Gromaire: Forty Paintings (1926-1929), 11 to 22 February.
30′ & 40′
- 1930 New York, Galerie Valentine Dudensing.
- 1933 Basel, Kunsthalle, Marcel Gromaire, 25 June to 23 July.
- 1934 Paris, Galerie Pierre, Recent Works by Marcel Gromaire, 3 to18 May.
- 1936 Paris, Galerie de l’Elysée, Gromaire, recent landscapes, 15 to 29 May.
- 1947 Paris, Galerie Louis Carré, Gromaire, paintings, 7 February to 2 March.
- 1949 New York, Louis Carré Gallery, Gromaire Exhibition of Paintings, 5 to 31 December.
- 1951 Paris, Galerie Louis Carré, New York seen by Gromaire, 19 June to 21 July.
- 1954 Tourcoing, Musée municipal, Gromaire, paintings, watercolours and tapestries, May.
- 1954 Paris, Galerie Louis Carré, Gromaire, recent paintings, 17 June to 24 July.
- 1956 Paris, Galerie Louis Carré, Gromaire, Paris, 5 June to 14 July.
- 1956 Besançon, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Gromaire, 7 September to 6 October.
- 1957 Paris, Maison de la pensée française, Gromaire, 70 paintings, (1923-1957), summer.
- 1960 Saint-Denis, Musée municipal d’histoire et d’art, Marcel Gromaire, 27 May to 29 June.
- 1962 Charleroi, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Marcel Gromaire, 11 February to 4 March.
- 1963 Geneva, Galerie Leandro, Marcel Gromaire, 11 January to 2 February.
- 1963 Paris, the National Museum of Modern Art (Musée national d’art moderne), Marcel Gromaire, 4 July to 17 October.
- 1965 Le Havre, Nouveau Musée des Beaux-Arts, Homage to Gromaire, 9 to 31 January.
- 1966 Lille, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Retrospective Exhibition of Marcel Gromaire´s work, 26 March to 30 May.
. London, The Lefevre Gallery, Recent works by Marcel Gromaire, 5 to 28 May.
. Amiens, Maison de la culture, Gromaire, summer.
70′ & 80′
- 1972 Ivry-sur-Seine, Salle des fêtes de l’Hôtel de Ville, Homage to Gromaire, 22 January to 9 February.
- 1972 Honfleur, Salles d’exposition du Grenier à sel, Marcel Gromaire (1892-1971), July to August.
- 1977 Chicago, R.-S. Johnson International, Homage to Gromaire, May to June.
- 1979 Marcq-en-Baroeul, Septentrion, Fondation Anne et Albert Prouvost, Gromaire, 9 June to 30 September.
- 1980 Museum of Modern Art of Paris (Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris), Marcel Gromaire (1892-1971), 12 June to 28 September.
- 1980-1981 Gravelines, Inauguration de la Poudrière restaurée en l’Arsenal de Gravelines, Marcel Gromaire, 25 October 1980 to 15 January 1981.
- 1981 Luxembourg, Musée de l’Etat, Marcel Gromaire (1892-1971), 6 March to 5 April.
- 1984 Paris, Galerie de la Présidence, Gromaire, 9 February to 31 March.
- 1989 Paris, Galerie de la Présidence, Marcel Gromaire, drawings, 12 October to 30 November (edition of a book).
- 1991 Toulouse, Galerie Inard, Gromaire, 30 May to 22 June.
- 1991 Niort, Hôtel de Ville, Marcel Gromaire, tapestries, July.
- 1992 Noyelles-sur-Sambre, Salle Marcel Gromaire, Retour aux sources, 10 to 25 October.
- 1993 Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Galerie Colbert, Marcel Gromaire, Notebooks 1911-1963, 28 May to 31 July.
- 1993-1994 Paris, Galerie de la Présidence, Gromaire, 26 October 1993 to 31 January 1994.
- 1994 Namur, Musée Provincial Félicien Rops, Marcel Gromaire, etchings, 22 January to 20 March.
. Gravelines, Arsenal, Musée du dessin et de l’estampe originale, Marcel Gromaire, drawings (1924-1958), Donation François Gromaire, 17 April to 5 June.
. Cateau-Cambrésis, Musée Matisse, Donation of Marcel Gromaire´s drawings, 9 July to 10 October.
. Clermont-Ferrand, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marcel Gromaire, 4 October to 31 December.
- 1994-1995 La Louvière, Centre de la gravure et de l’image imprimée de la Communauté Française, Marcel Gromaire, Eugène Leroy, 9 December 1994 to 4 January 1995.
- 1995 Paris, Galerie Sagot-Le Garrec, Gromaire, engravings and drawings, 16 March to 15 April.
. Aubusson, Musée départemental de la Tapisserie, Gromaire, tapistries, 25 June to 24 September.
- 1995-1996 Angers, Musée Jean Lurçat, Gromaire, Gromaire, tapistries, 21 October 1995 to 14 January 1996.
- 1996 Arles, Musée Reattu, Marcel Gromaire, drawings from the 1920´s, 25 July to 20 October.
- 1996-1997 Marcq-en-Baroeul, Fondation Anne et Albert Prouvost, Gromaire, 14 September 1996 to 5 January, 1997.
- 2000 Paris, Galerie de la Présidence, Pavillon des Antiquaires et des Beaux-Arts, Gromaire, 25 February to 5 March.
- 2000-2001 Vannes, La Cohue Musée de Vannes, Marcel Gromaire, scenes from the North, 30 September 2000 to 2 January 2001.
- 2000-2001 Pont-Aven, Musée de Pont-Aven, Marcel Gromaire and Brittany,
7 October 2000 to 1 January 2001.
- 2001 Morlaix, Musée des Jacobins, Marcel Gromaire and Brittany, 13 January to 26 March.
- 2003 Paris, Galerie de la Présidence, Marcel Gromaire watercolors and drawings,
4 November – 27 december 2003.
- 2007 Paris, Pavillon du Carré Baudoin, Marcel Gromaire, un peintre humaniste 1921-1933, 21 June – 21 July 2007.
- 2007 Nice, Musée International d’Art Naif, un dialogue René Rimbert – Marcel Gromaire, 22 June – 29 october 2007.
- 2010-2011, Boulogne-Billancourt, Musée des Années 30, Nus en quête d’idéal : l’érotisme de Marcel Gromaire, 10 November 2010 – 20 February 2011
2018 | News
Musée Matisse Le Cateau-Cambrésis
From June 23rd to September 30th 2018
Marcel Gromaire – Regards sur les collections du musée
An exhibition of the donation made by Gromaire to the museum in 1955, and the donation made by his son in 1993 to the city of Cateau-Cambrésis.
The Galerie de la Présidence lends drawings, watercolors and oils on canvas to this exhibition.
- 1925 Jean Cassou: “Marcel Gromaire”, Collection “Les Peintres nouveaux”, N.R.F, Paris.
- 1928 Waldemar George: “Marcel Gromaire et le Message du Nord” Collection “Les Maîtres nouveaux”, Les chroniques du jour, Paris.
- 1929 Sélection: “Marcel Gromaire”, Les chroniques du jour, Anvers.
- 1929 Georges Pillement: “Marcel Gromaire”, Collection “Les Artistes nouveaux”, Grès, Paris.
- 1949 George Besson: “Gromaire”, Collection “Les Maîtres”, Braun, Paris.
- 1949 François Gromaire: “Gromaire”, “Plastique” Collection, Braun, Paris.
- 1954 Le Point: “Marcel Gromaire”, Artistic and literary magazine, December issue, Mulhouse.
- 1958 Guy Dormand: “Eloge de Gromaire”, Marcel Bruker Editions, Paris.
- 1961 Marcel Zahar: “Gromaire”, Pierre Cailler Editions, Geneva.
- 1973 François Gromaire: “Gromaire dessinateur”, Jacques Goldschmidt. Le Musée de poche, Paris.
- 1976 François Gromaire: “L’oeuvre gravé de Marcel Gromaire”, (two volumes), La Bibliothèque des Arts, Lausanne-Paris.
- 1980 Marcel Gromaire: “Peinture 1921-1939, le journal d’un créateur”, Denoël/Gonthier Edition, Paris.
- 1989 Françoise Chibret-Plaussu, François Gromaire : “Gromaire cinquante années de dessins, jour après jour”, Image/Magie Editions, Paris.
- 1993 Françoise Chibret-Plaussu, François Gromaire : “Marcel Gromaire, La vie et l’oeuvre, Catalogue raisonné des peintures”, La Bibliothèque des Arts, Paris.
Catalogue currently being prepared:
The catalogue raisonné of Marcel Gromaire´s watercolours is being prepared by the Galerie de la Présidence, 90, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris.
Please send any relevant documents that you may have concerning Gromaire´s watercolours to Florence Chibret-Plaussu.