JEAN SOUVERBIE (1891-1981)

Lot 30
40 000 - 60 000 €

JEAN SOUVERBIE (1891-1981)

Oil on canvas, signed lower right, countersigned, titled and dated on reverse
28 ¾ x 39 1/8 in

Born into a bourgeois aristocratic family, his delicate constitution prevented him from attending school, and he had to take lessons at home from his father and sisters, and later a governess. During this solitary, sedentary childhood, he lived on books, theatre and painting, which remained passions for the rest of his life. Encouraged in this direction by his intelligent and cultivated father, he was given a paint box, easel and canvases when he was ten.
Though the exact sciences did not much appeal to him, his gargantuan book culture enabled him to draw endlessly on philosophical, poetic and literary references, which shaped his profound and sensitive attitude to the world around him.
In 1908, Maurice Denis noticed a self-portrait he had painted at only seventeen and helped him to enter the Académie Ranson, the ultimate place to learn painting for the Nabis. The young artist, far from restricting himself to the art of colour, developed a boundless admiration for artists of the Enlightenment, particularly Poussin, borrowing his ordered linearity and distinctly harmonious construction in his compositions. hanks to an operation that cured his illness, Souverbie became prodigiously active and now exhibited constantly, including at the Salon d'Automne and the Venice Biennial in 1938.
The same year, he devoted himself to monumental painting. This was the start of a friendly collaboration with Jacques Rouché, director of the Paris Opera, for whom he created the sets for Massenet's Arianne, Reyer's Salambô and Verdi's Aida. He also painted decorative panels for liners, and for the French pavilions at the Universal Exhibitions in Brussels and New York.
On the death of Maurice Denis, he took over his post as teacher at the Ateliers d'Art Sacré before becoming professor and then professor emeritus at the Ecole Nationale Supérieur des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He had a string of solo shows in Paris and Lyon, but what really crowned his career was the retrospective staged in his honour at the Bernheim Jeune gallery in 1976.
Souverbie was an honest man whose sober philosophy and solid personal culture made him consider himself a fulfilled and happy artist. However, while perfectly integrated into the artistic society of his times, this friend of Picasso was fully aware of its shortcomings.
His work was shown in not only France but also Germany, the US and England. His most outstanding pupils included Pierrette Bloche, Georges Visconti and Philippe Lejeune..
My orders
Sale information
Sales conditions
Retourner au catalogue