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E. O. D. V. GUILLONNET, 1872-1...

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Portrait of Victor Charreton, 1936 Colored pencil and oil on canvas, curved format Signed and dated lower left with a note: to my good friend Victor Charreton 86 x 61 cm VICTOR CHARRETON 1864-1936 "Nature and its infinite variations command his work. » Valérie Huss, about Victor Charreton Victor Charreton is one of the last great representatives of the landscape painting genre in France. Born in Isère, he was passionate about painting and poetry from an early age, and practiced as an amateur, but his father pushed him to study law. He therefore pursued a career as a solicitor and in 1892 he bought an office in Lyon, leaving himself time to pursue his passion. The enriching artistic climate of this city motivated him to exhibit at the Société Lyonnaise des Beaux-Arts and then at the Salon des Artistes Français. At that time, he practiced a rather traditional landscape painting, stemming from the regional painting influenced by the Barbizon school. Unable to resist the call of art, he sold his office in 1902 to devote himself fully to painting. Determined, he undertook to complete his training and organized an independent program: copying the masters, visiting museums and exhibitions, travelling to Rome... Victor Charreton did his apprenticeship and sought his way independently. His meeting and marriage to Elmy in 1893 allowed him to discover the Auvergne, his wife's native region. The landscapes that were revealed to him acted as a catalyst, and in front of the panoramas of the Puy-de-Dôme he found his way. Courageous and determined, he paints tirelessly on the ground, despite the sometimes harsh climatic conditions, in order to soak up the atmosphere and the light that he wishes to transpose onto his canvases. Free to experiment, he developed a unique technique, working the material with a knife, applying it directly to the tube. His touch becomes expressionist, it draws as much as it colours. Charreton also conducts research on pigments and frees himself from the layers of preparation, bitumen and dark tones to paint directly on the canvas or on the wooden panels. After a quick preparatory drawing, he boldly launches into the application of pure colors that he kneads, crushes and kneads until satisfaction. Through his research and his sincerity, he was able to create an immediately recognizable style, in the manner of Paul Cézanne or Bernard Buffet. Victor Charreton is a landscape artist. We sometimes find a few figures in his work, most often his wife, but examples are rare. He who loves to represent flowery gardens, pretexts for a colorful outburst, also paints with pleasure superb bouquets. His entire art is turned towards landscapes, and more particularly those of Auvergne, an ancient land populated by volcanoes, forests and grasslands with vast horizons. Charreton favours three places: La Sauvetat, Murol and Saint-Amant-Tallende. He paints them all the seasons, knowing how to transmit his vision of the climatic effects, not a photographic vision, but a sensitive perception. His palette is transformed according to whether he paints the soft frosty harmonies of his famous snows, or the rich golden tones of the forests in autumn. The trees and gardens in bloom during the spring revival delight him, and the painter then enriches his works with bright colours skilfully juxtaposed. Light is always present, not as an end in itself, but as a partner with which the painter plays, and recreates through its prism its effects and revelations: frost on a roof, a ray through the foliage, a mauve shadow on the snow, a flowering tree crushed by the sun, a twilight in a valley... Charreton travels a lot, but brings back few works from his journeys. When he went to Brittany or to the South of France, he was mainly interested in the interior and gardens, and only occasionally in the sea, although his rare seascapes were very successful. He exhibited very regularly from 1902 onwards, and then he realised that artistic success came from Paris, the capital of the arts. In 1907, the artist moved to a beautiful apartment-studio on rue Vavin in the 6th arrondissement. He belonged to the Group of Ten, named after ten artists who exhibited regularly at the Dujardin Gallery in Roubaix, including Jules Adler and Pierre Eugène Montézin. Charreton is the leader and most famous representative of the Murol school, and a regular visitor to the Georges Petit gallery in Paris and the Chappe gallery in Toulouse. Two great art critics defended him: Camille Mauclair and Gustave Kahn. The latter was a close friend of Victor Charreton. The power and originality of his art come from the

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