Roger de la Fresnaye


Self Portrait, c.1907-08
Musee National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Lauros / Giraudon
French, out of copyright

Roger de la Fresnaye was born into an aristocratic family of France in 1885.  He studied art at both the  Académie Julian in Paris, and later at the École des Beaux-Arts.  In 1908 he studied at the Académie Ranson under artists of the  Les Nabis group, Maurice Denis and Paul Sérusier.   These artists and their style certainly had an influence of La Fresnaye’s early work.

He exhibited regularly at the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne.   By 1911, he discovers Cubism and is influenced by the works Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso and Robert Delaunay.  Roger de la Fresnaye paints large scale pictures of figures, landscapes and still-lives.  His style is more naturalistic or representational than his cubist peers.

Roger de la Fresnaye enlisted in the French army during World War I, but he contracted tuberculosis.  He was discharged in 1918 and never fully recovered.  His creative output declined over the next several years.  La Fresnaye passed away in 1925.  He is known for putting his unique stamp on some of the art movements he worked in.  Today his work can be found in important private and public collections including Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon,  Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Museum of Modern Art, New York and the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.