Constantin Kluge was born in Riga, Lativa on the 29th January 1912. The Kluge family moved to Manchuria in 1919. Constantin’s early years, evoked a passion for drawing Mandarin characters influenced by Chinese culture. Eventually, the situation changed in Manchuria resulting in the family moving to Beijing. Whilst at school in Beijing, Kluge was introduced to the formal study of art, under the direction of the Russian artist Podgursky Chernomyrdin.
In 1931 Constantin Kluge moved to Paris and gained a place studying architecture at the well renowned École des Beaux Arts. After six years at the famed French academy, Kluge earned his architectural diploma. During his time in Paris, Kluge’s artistic talents were captivated by Parisian life. His later works of the river Seine, flower markets and the streets of Paris were executed with an impressionistic brush stroke along with a gentle naturalistic feel. His Paris street scenes capture the true essence of En plein air painting, which makes Kluge’s work so popular today.
After finishing his degree, Kluge returned to Asia as an aspiring architect, he gained a position at the office that processed building permits for the Shangai French Concession. However, in 1946, Mao Tse Tung was moving southward and foreign workers reluctantly moved away from Shangai. Kluge was forced to move to Hong Kong in further pursuit of his architectural career.
Kluge returned to Paris in 1950 and soon thereafter found representation in a popular French gallery on Rue Saint-Honore. He gained considerable attention at the Paris Salon in 1951 and continued a run of successful exhibitions at the Paris Salon and at the Salon of the Société des Artistes Français, where he was awarded the Medaille d’Argent in 1961 as well as the Raymond Perreau award presented by the Taylor Foundation at the Salon. In 1962, he achieved the highest honour at the Salon, a coveted gold medal. In 1964 he became a citizen of France.
In 1990 Kluge was made a Chevallier of the Légion d’honneur by the French Ministry of culture for his contribution to art. Kluge’s artwork remains highly collectable to this day by art galleries and private collectors from around the world.
1951 – Salon de Paris
1961 – Salon des Artistes Francais
1961 – Wally Findlay Galleries New York
1992 – Musée Antoine Vivenel France
1961 – Silver medal, Salon des Artistes Francais
1961 – Salon des Artistes Francais, Taylor Foundation’s Raymond Perreau award
1962 – Gold medal, Salon des Artistes Francais
1990 – Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur