Bernard Boutet de Monvel was the son of Louis Boutet de Monvel and first studied under his father. He went on to study under Luc-Olivier Merson and the sculptor Jean Dampt. He exhibited in Paris from 1903 at the Salon des Artistes Français and then at the Salon d'Automne and became a member of both societies. In 1910 he took part in the great exhibition in Brussels and in the Humorists Exhibition in Copenhagen. From 1923 to 1928 he was a member of the Salon des Tuileries committee. Boutet de Monvel was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur. He died in an aircraft accident in which the violinist Ginette Neveu and the boxing champion Marcel Cerdan also died. In 1993 a collection of his paintings was exhibited at the Galerie Verneuil Sts-Pères in Paris.
Boutet de Monvel was also an illustrator and produced work for the Gazette du Bon Ton in 1912-1913 and André Maurois' celebrated The Silence of Colonel Bramble ( Silences du Colonel Bramble). He spent every winter in the USA where he was highly regarded, both for his talent as a society portraitist and for his refined dandyism. In both his portraits and his New York landscapes his technique displays a cold precision in which no detail is allowed to take priority over any other and no personal emotion is shown, to such an extent that his 'portraits' of the city of New York have been compared with the purist style of Ozenfant and Jeanneret. He also painted Moroccan landscapes in an entirely different style, using muted tones and spirited, heavily applied pigment.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Aurillac (MAA): View of New York
Boulogne-Billancourt: Portrait of the Maharajah of Indore
Lille (MBA): The Convalescent
Tours: View of New York