1882 - 1942
Jules Zingg first painted the rustic sites of his native country in the east of France, then went to Paris at 20, funded by a travel grant from the city of Montbéliard. He entered the École des Beaux-Arts in the studio of Cormon where stayed for one year, attracting notice and receiving the second Prix de Rome and the Anna Maire and Attinville landscape prizes. He was immediately admitted to the Salon des Artistes Français, where he exhibited for four years. He received honourable mention in 1909, a 3rd class medal in 1910, the Prix Meurand and Leclerc Maria Bouland, a travel grant and the Prix National in 1913. Zingg was influenced by the Impressionists, especially by Cézanne. After World War I, he sent works to the Salon des Indépendant and the Salon d’Automne. These were more modern than his previous works, and showed Cézanne’s influence much more explicitly. He was invited to the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. He exhibited there for some time, where he was allowed to exhibit hors-concours. He showed regularly at the Salon des Tuileries from its founding. He presided over the painting jury of the Salon d’Automne in 1930. In 1937, he was awarded the Grand Prix at the Exposition Universelle. He exhibited again at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1938 and 1945, and at the Salon d’Automne in 1952.
Zingg also earned renown as a decorative artist. He executed important frescoes and designed cartoons for the Aubusson and Gobelins factories. He was also vice-president of the society La Fresque. Around 1925, he painted one of the pillars in the La Coupole brasserie in Montparnasse. His talent as a woodcut artist was a very personal one, and his woodcuts bear comparison to old popular engravings and to Japanese prints. He illustrated Louis-Léon Martin’s Tuvache. Zingg continued to work on the subjects that had attracted him in his youth such as rustic and forest scenes. However, he extended his interest to the country life of Brittany, Île-de-France, Auvergne, the Vosges, in addition to his native Franche-Comté.
Zingg was a realist painter, conforming to nature, all the while seeking an insight into its profound structure. He combined a classical technique, in the true sense of the word rather than as a synonym of Academicism, with a rich, varied and striking use of colour. His work is reminiscent of Corot and his Barbizon followers with the visual acuity of a Bruegel the Elder and the knowing, rustic realism of the Le Nain brothers. In 1930, he was named Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.
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