1870 - 1957
Antoine Bouvard Paintings
Eloi Noel Beraud (as he was christened) was born on December 26, 1875 in Saint-Étienne. The civil status declared “Éloi-Noël Isodore Béraud born of unknown parents”. In 1885, the public assistance sent him to a host family in Toul where he remained until February 10, 1894. Back in Saint-Etienne, he attended the Beaux Arts courses where he began copying the old Masters.
On August 4, 1900, he married Marie Luce in Puy. His son Georges-Noël was born on December 25, 1912.
Eloi Noel Beraud’s style developed and he began to paint beautiful scenes with Barbizon accents as well as many scenes typical of the Art Nouveau period that he signed N. Béraud or sometimes Pelletier. At that time, he frequently used watercolour and gouache, techniques he abandoned in the late 1920’s.
He moved to Paris in January 1901 at 45 rue Boulard. The following year he illustrated a whole series of postcards for British industry. The success of these cards lasted until the end of the 1910’s and contributed greatly to his reputation In England.
After the war, he returned to Paris. In 1919. He found work by creating models and advertising posters for Galeries Lafayette. In 1924, he moved to a large house, Place Le Vacher in Ecouen (Val-d’Oise), where he set up his workshop. He worked in his atelier tirelessly from 7am until 8pm.
In April 1930 he set off to discover Venice. The effect is instantaneous, the beauty of the site subdued him and from thenceforth he dedicated his life to painting only Venice.
In May of 1930 he met Rubens Santoro (1859-1942). At that time he was at the peak of his glory he showed Eloi the special light of the City of the Doges. The sparkling and so impressionistic reflections of the water flowing between the canals. All the variations of brown, ochre, white or brown that formed the tones of the facades of the Venetian houses.
For nearly two months, the men never leave each other’s sides. Eloi found his Master. On his return from Venice, Eloi went through Nice to present his barely dry paintings to Morscio, a gallerist of Italian origin. The latter, enthusiastic, immediately signed a contract.
Whilst he had found great success with his previous works that were signed Béraud, Pelletier or Luda, Morscio had the idea of a pseudonym more commercial and Italian-sounding, Marc Aldine. This signature was to become one of the two pseudonyms he now puts on all his paintings until the end of his career.
His second pseudonym appeared at the end of the 1930s, at the request of the English gallery Whitgift Galleries who, to distinguish his orders from those of Morscio, decides that he will sign Bouvard, a French name that pleased the British market.
From the beginning of his collaboration with Morscio and Whitgift Galleries, and until the end of his career, Eloi-Noël now only painted views of Venice signed Marc Aldine or Bouvard.
Along with his own career, Éloi trained his son Georges from 1932. He lavished his advice and revealed his tricks and techniques. In 1941, at the birth of George’s daughter, he and Eloi worked together, and in the spirit of the Master, George succeeded him.
Eloi died on February 9, 1957, at the age of 82 in the family home.
The legacy of Antoine Bouvard is now complete as he is well regarded and collected around the world – the only difficulties we face today are determining the differences between his work and that of his son Noel Bouvard and his daughter Colette – both their works are very close to that of their father and requires an expert eye to determine the differences. The canvases used, age of canvas and signature are all key indicators as well as the brushwork which can be differentiated if the viewer knows what to look for. A fascinating painter with a fascinating story.
Antoine Bouvard Paintings
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