1888 - 1948
Paul-Élie Gernez was not unaffected by the explorations of the Cubists, but he took to heart Vauxcelles’ words that Cubism leads to painting provided you leave it behind. Strengthened by salutary experimentation, he returned to nature. He was primarily a landscape and seascape artist, having spent almost the whole of his life in Honfleur, and he is sometimes reminiscent of Jongkind in his observation of light on the sea. Among his works are nudes and female figures, and more flowers than still-lifes. He illustrated François Mauriac’s Génitrix and Charles Maurras’ The Road to Paradise (Le Chemin de paradis). His varied works are characterised by great sensibility which does not exclude firm structuring. He held solo exhibitions in Paris in 1917, 1922 and 1924. A posthumous retrospective, curated by his friend Robert Rey, was held in 1969 and a further one took place in 1984.