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Gabriel-Sébastien SIMONET dit SÉBASTIEN (1909...

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Gabriel-Sébastien SIMONET, known as SÉBASTIEN (1909 - 1990) "The couple Bronze with green shaded patina Artist's signature and founder's stamp "susse frères paris". Circa 1949 H: 27cm L:26cm Bibliography: Similar model in plaster reproduced in Plaisir de France April-May 1949 born in 1909 in Paris, Gabriel-Sébastien Simonet, known as Sébastien, trained at the Ecole Boule (cabinetmaking section), graduating top of his class in 1928. Talented, he began his career as a decorator working with Etienne Kohlmann (artistic director of the Magasin du Louvre workshops), then with Maurice Dufrêne at the Maitrise des Galeries Lafayette. Attracted by painting and sculpture, it was as a self-taught artist that he approached these mediums. In 1930, taking advantage of his military service in Morocco, he practiced ceramics in a village of potters in the desert valley of Ourika (High Atlas), then tried his hand at terracotta sculpture in the capital, Marrakech, with meditating figures. Returning to Paris in 1932, he settled in the artistic district of rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs. Winner of the Blumenthal Foundation in 1936, his acclaimed work enabled him to take part in the 1937 International Exhibition and to exhibit at the New York, San Francisco and Milan International Exhibitions (gold medal 1939). During the war, from 1940 to 1944, he took refuge in the south of France, in Vallauris. He joined the Madoura ceramics workshop to create sculptural pieces, where he met local artists and art dealer Aimé Maegth, with whom he became close friends. One exhibition followed another, and the young man's talent struck a chord, earning him the name of "Vallauris's earth magician" for his Romanesque sculptures. After the war, he returned to Paris and took part in various exhibitions and salons (Salon des Artistes Décorateurs, Salon d'Automne, Salon de l'Imagerie, Salon d'Art Sacré, Salon de la peinture...). During his many stays in Vallauris, he rubbed shoulders with the artistic notoriety of his time, including Picasso and Jean Cocteau. A painter and ceramic sculptor, he continued to create until the end of his life. His work reflects his attachment to his youthful voyage to Morocco, to unglazed terracotta and its matte appearance. His paintings and ceramics can be found in numerous French public collections. After his death in 1990, a Sébastien art center was created in 1993 in Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer (Var), thanks to a bequest of 182 pieces including paintings, drawings and watercolors, terracottas and bronzes. The pieces are signed "Sébastien" and engraved on the reverse. Text © Christine Lavenu

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