Lavandieres
by Paul Edmond Villiers

SOLD

  • Country of origin: France

  • Medium: Oil on canvas

  • Signed: Signed & dated lower right

  • Dated: 1914

  • Condition: Very good original condition

  • Size: 23.00" x 32.00" (58.4cm x 81.3cm)

  • Framed Size: 35.00" x 44.00" (88.9cm x 111.8cm)

  • Provenance: Private french collection

  • Literature: This poignant work was painted in the Spring of 1914 - by July of that year Villiers had been mobilised to join the French Army to fight in World War One. By August of that year he was killed at the Battle of the Trouée de Charmes.

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Artwork Biography

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Paul Villiers was the son of chemistry professor Antoine Villiers-Moriamé. Paul very early on chose to shorten his artist name. It was therefore under that of Paul Villiers that he received, upon leaving the School of Decorative Arts, during the award ceremony of July 27, 1903, chaired by the great statuary Auguste Bartholdi, the Biais prize (composition ornament in boxes), the Adrien Leroy prize (awarded to the student who has had the most nominations for 4 years), and the honorary prize (awarded to the student who has had the most nominations in the year).

He then studied with Fernand Cormon, painter and teacher, at the Beaux-Arts and in Cormon's Workshop, where artists including Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh were being taught alongside Villiers.

He regularly attended the Cercle international des Arts at 91 boulevard Raspail, where he exhibited from 1909, within the Association of artists of Paris and the department of the Seine. It was there that Guillaume Apollinaire noticed him in 1910.

In 1911, Paul Villiers won first prize in a competition organized by the department store Le Printemps in association with the society for the encouragement of art and industry. The idea is to design a glassware service “of an exclusively modern inspiration”, which is praised by Maurice Dufrène: “The series [of] glasses is almost perfect, the easy decoration is flexible, simple, in place, the new and frank curves ”.

He exhibited at the Salon in 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912 (Plowing horses, end of the day, number 1857), 1913 (Shepherdess in the fields, number 1812). At the 1912 Salon, he received the Savoy Prize (Antoine Girard Foundation) which is part of the National Prize, as well as a third class medal.

Mobilized at the start of the war as a simple second-class soldier, he died on August 27, 1914 in Crévic (Meurthe et Moselle) at the end of the Battle of the Gap of Charmes.

In 1921, a posthumous exhibition was devoted to him at Bagatelle, as well as to Pierre Gourdault and André Martin-Gauthereau, other painters who also "died for France".

He appears, under his birth name Paul Edmond Villiers-Moriamé, at the Père Lachaise monument to the dead in the city of Paris inaugurated on 11 November 2018, and, under his name Paul Villiers,in the town of Grez-sur-Loing, where his family had a house.