One minute with Francis Gruber and André Marchand

As part of our GREEN Spring palettes exhibition, let’s spend one minute with Francis Gruber and André Marchand: two important artists of the 40’s and 50’s who have been exhibited in prestigious galleries and are present today in public and private collections. 



André Marchand

A major player in post-war French figurative painting, André Marchand was always attracted to works that possess a silent power. With The Woman with the Green Wall (La femme au mur vert), he painted an ancient idol endowed with this mysterious power.

In the workshop flooded with solar and green light, this sovereign muse, like his Arlésiennes, sits and dreams. Immersed in her own universe, she is absent in silence. Her body filling the composition gives her this idol stature.

Of serene power, it invites us to explore our own inner life.

André MARCHAND, La femme au mur vert

André MARCHAND (1907-1997)
La Femme au mur vert 
Oil on canvas
91 X 73 cm
Signed lower left, titled and signed on the reverse



Francis Gruber

A precursor of realistic painting, alongside Balthus and Giacometti in the 1930s and 1940s, Francis Gruber remained a reference for advocates of figurative painting, such as Bernard Buffet. Undergrowth, Fontainebleau Forest (Sous-bois forêt de Fontainebleau) and Love Leaves the Earth (L’Amour quitte la terre) are two paintings representative of Francis Gruber’s sensitive and incisive character. 

Far from the concerns of a France at war, Gruber found refuge and peace by devoting his time to his art not far from Fontainebleau. In this Undergrowth, the intense and dense greens of the foliage of the trees and the lichen covering the rocks of the forest are a real breath of greenery. He gave it the happiness of breathing freely once again. 

Francis Gruber, Sou-bois, forêt de Fontainebleau

Francis GRUBER (1912-1948)
Sous-bois, forêt de Fontainebleau
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated lower left
81 x 65 cm


Following the liberation of France, Gruber distanced himself from his wife and daughter. The separation led him to create one of his greatest masterpieces: Love Leaves the Earth (L’Amour quitte la terre).  In a landscape with an ethereal atmosphere, Love, with its bow and arrows, moves away towards the horizon, while the beloved woman remains alone, her gaze lost and sad.

With these faded blues and greens, everything seems to be just a memory. 

Francis Gruber, L’amour quitte la terre

Francis GRUBER (1912-1948)
L’amour quitte la terre

Oil on canvas
Signed and dated lower left
92 x 73 cm

Aragon praised him,

“Francis Gruber was one of the greatest painters of that time, when all value was so confused and all judgment obscured, and reality for him was like a skinny little girl exposed in the woods.” 

The Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris is currently dedicating a room to Francis Gruber.


André Marchand

Between 1930 and 1950, André Marchand was one of the major representatives of ‘young French painters’.

At his debuts he painted canvasses where humanism and surrealism were side by side, while searching for his style and expressing his sensitivity. Then from 1940 his palette became full of bright colours.

André Marchand painted different registers – the Arlésiennes, the bulls of the Rhone delta, pink flamingos, nudes and still-lifes know as ‘Silent Lives’, a term which perfectly translates this desire to overcome appearances and to underline the interiority of these beings and things.

This led him to say that he could feel the wind passing through the leaves of the trees he was painting

Francis Gruber

Francis Gruber was a French painter and founder of the Nouveau Réalisme school.

Born in Nancy, he was the son of stained glass artist Jacques Gruber and he first exhibited at the age of 18.

While other artists were becoming more and more abstract, he preferred to paint human figures that were highly sculpted.

Gruber was influenced by Hieronymus Bosch and Albrecht Dürerand the Lorraine engraver Jacques Callot and became friends with the Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti.

Exhibition from March 14 to April 30, 2022

With works by

Jean ARP
Charles CAMOIN
Henri-Edmond CROSS
Raoul DUFY
Francis GRUBER
František KUPKA
Ker-Xavier ROUSSEL
Geer van VELDE