Georges d’Espagnat

Kenny Ackerman

Georges d’Espagnat was a Post-Impressionist painter and illustrator best known for his Parisian genre scenes, female figures, and landscapes. His style combines the painterly brushwork of Impressionism with the bold use of color favored by the Fauves. His artistic circle encompassed many of the great artists of the 20th century, including Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, and Marc Chagall.

Georges d'Espaganat

Deux jeunes filles assises, 1908

D’Espagnat moved to Paris at the age of 18 to study painting. Eschewing the academy training offered by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, d’Espagnat toured the Louvre independently, studying the works of the Old Masters. He also traveled to Italy where he gravitated toward the Masters of the Venetian School, whose works emphasized the primacy of color over line. Georges d’Espagnat formed close associations with prominent Impressionist painters and exhibited his work at the 1891 Salon des Refusés and the 1892 Salon des Indépendants. D’Espagnat’s first one-man exhibition followed soon after in Paris in 1895.

D’Espagnat participated in a number of group exhibitions in the first quarter of the 20th century that included such artists as Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne, Camille Pissarro, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Georges Braque, and Pablo Picasso. From 1936 onwards, he served as Professor at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he died in 1950. The following year, d’Espagnat was honored by a retrospective exhibition at the Salon d’Automne, of which he had been Vice President for many years.

Georges d’Espagnat’s paintings now hang in prominent museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, and the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo.