1867 - 1944
André Victor Édouard Devambez studied with the portrait painter Benjamin-Constant and received advice from Gabriel Guay and Jules Lefebvre. He was a head of studio at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was made an Officer of the Légion d’Honneur.
His drawings and paintings have a caustic vivacity and wit, and reconcile a restrained format with the depiction of bustling crowds, as in The Demonstration, Gulliver Received by the Lilliputians and A Première at the Théâtre Montmartre. In 1910 he received a commission for 12 panels for the future French Embassy in Vienna. His subject, Modern Life and Inventions, the metro, buses, airships and planes, was not accepted. His first and only ambition was to depict everyday inventions and recent progress by traditional painting methods. He wrote and illustrated Auguste has a Bad Character ( Auguste a mauvais caractère) and illustrated many other books, including Zola’s The Coqueville Fête ( La fête à Coqueville), Claude Farrère’s The Condemned ( Les condamnés à mort) and Zola’s The Social Poverty of Women ( La misère sociale de la femme); and his drawings appeared in publications such as Le Rire, Le Figaro Illustré and L’Illustration.
He won the Prix de Rome in 1890 and exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français, of which he was a member from 1889 and where he was awarded a second-class medal in 1898 for The Conversion of Mary Magdalene. A retrospective of his work was held at the Beauvais Museum in August 1988.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Paris (MNAM-CCI): At the Concert Colonne
Paris (Mus. d’Orsay): The Charge (1908)
Paris (Mus. de l’Armée): Verdun (1917, oil on canvas)