Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sewing outdoors - Paul Serusier 1863-1927


Paul Serusier (French painter, 1863-1927) La Couseuse

In 1875, Parisian Paul Sérusier (1863-1927) entered the Condorcet Lycée, where he studied classical philosophy, Greek, & Latin, plus the sciences. Ten years later, he entered the Condorcet Lycee, where he became lifelong friends with Maurice Denis. In 1888, Sérusier arrived at Pont-Aven in Brittany, where he became friends with Emile Bernand & Paul Gauguin, who encouraged the young painter to release himself from the constraints of imitative painting, to use pure colors, not to hesitate to exaggerate his impressions, & to give to his paintings his own decorative logic & symbolic system.

Paul Serusier (French painter, 1863-1927) A Girl of Savoy 1890

Upon his return to Paris, together with the friends Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Maurice Denis (1870-1943), Henri Ibels (1867-1936) & Paul Ranson (1862-1909), Sérusier formed a group, which they called Nabis (Hebrew "prophets"). They met regularly to discuss theoretical problems of art, symbolism, occult sciences, & esotericism. Later, Armand Seguin, Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) & Kerr-Xavier Roussel (1867-1944) joined the group. Many of the Nabis artists participated in the scene decoration & costume design of the Symbolist plays of the theater, Sérusier among them. The theater made it possible for them to try out on a large scale their principles of simplification & the synthesis of the various means of expression. However, after Gauguin's departure to Tahiti, in 1891, the group gradually fell apart.

Paul Serusier (French painter, 1863-1927)


In 1895, Sérusier went to the Benedictine monastery of Beuron in Germany. The monk-artists of the monastery practiced the aesthetic principles, according to which the laws of beauty were divine ones; they were mysteriously hidden in nature & could be revealed only to the artists who were able to perceive the proportions & the harmony of the sizes: "God did everything in the Holy Spirit according to measurement, a number & weight." After several successive voyages to Beuron, he settled in Brittany & cultivated painting primarily based on calculations & measurements.

Paul Serusier (French painter, 1863-1927) The Embroideress


Upon his return to Paris, together with the friends Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Maurice Denis (1870-1943), Henri Ibels (1867-1936) & Paul Ranson (1862-1909), Sérusier formed a group, which they called Nabis (Hebrew "prophets"). They met regularly to discuss theoretical problems of art, symbolism, occult sciences, & esotericism. Later, Armand Seguin, Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) & Kerr-Xavier Roussel (1867-1944) joined the group. Many of the Nabis artists participated in the scene decoration & costume design of the Symbolist plays of the theater, Sérusier among them. The theater made it possible for them to try out on a large scale their principles of simplification & the synthesis of the various means of expression. However, after Gauguin's departure to Tahiti, in 1891, the group gradually fell apart.

Paul Serusier (French painter, 1863-1927) Young Girl with a Pink Stocking or Young Breton Knitting 1920


From 1908, he started to teach regularly at the Ranson Academy. In 1921 Sérusier published "ABC of Painting", a short treatise in which he developed a theory of the curves & simple shapes, plus a theory of color & a method of research of the deafened colors. The painter died in 1927 in Morlaix.


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