Bernard Lorjou (French 1908-1986)

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Lorjou blue 1500p fmd.jpg
Lorjou blue vlarge fmd.jpg

Bernard Lorjou (French 1908-1986)


White Flowers in Blue Vase
Gouache on paper/laid on canvas
Framed size is 36 x 24 inches
Unframed is 25 5/6 x 18 1/2 inches

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Bernard Lorjou was born in Loir et Cher, France in 1908.Born to an impoverished family before the beginning of World War I, the young lad received much of his education, as he described "in the streets".At the age of 13, Lorjou left his family for Paris, suffering hardships and at the same time, slept in metro and train stations.  During this time, he worked without pay as an errand boy for a printing house.  Later, employed as a silk designer, he met his future wife, Yvonne Mottet, artist and painter.  Lorjou's  accomplished success as a silk designer allowed him the opportunity to paint full time.

In 1928, Lorjou exhibited at the Salon des Independents.  Traveling in 1931 to Spain, the young artist finds interest in the works of El Greco and Velasquez and primarily, Goya.  From this experience, Lorjou began painting themes of socio-political events.

Later in 1948, Lorjou  was awarded the Critic's Award, shared with Bernard Buffet.  Also in 1948, Lorjou founded the art group "L'Homme Temoin" along with the aid of art critic, Jean Bouret (declaring "man is an eater of red meat, fried potatoes, fruit and cheese").  Banded together to defend figurative painting against the abstract movement at the time, the group attracted other painters including Buffett, Jean Couty (1907-1991), Andre Minaux (1923-1986), (Robert) Charazac (1905-1982) and Simone Dat (1927).

From 1948 until the late 1970's, the painter's reputation became more firmly established.  Through a series of transformations, Lorjou's work was constant concerning the power of his images and his precision using vibrant colors.  Supported by prominent art figures, including Georges Wildenstein and the widow of Paul Guillaume, Domenica Walter, Lorjou's extravagant exhibitions and combative spirit preceded his reputation with works exhibited in France, Japan and the United States.

Homage to Lorjou, Salon d'Automne, Paris, France

Lorjou Pinturas Recientes, Caracas, Venezuela

Lorjou Recent Works, Brussels, Belgium

Lorjou Recent Paintings, Geneva, Switzerland

Lorjou Drawings, Wildenstein Gallery, New York, NY

100 Studies, Drawings, Paintings and Sculptures for the Miracle of Lourdes,
Galerie du Bac, Paris, France
1945      Bernard Lorjou, Galerie du Bac, Paris, France

At the age of 77, in 1986, Bernard Lorjou died from an acute asthma attack in St. Denis du Loire, his home.