Finally! Thanks to the appearance of quality works, the market is at last rehabilitating painter George-Daniel de Monfreid.
George-Daniel de Monfreid (1856-1929), Nature morte au bol et à la potiche chinoise (Still Life with Bowl and Chinese Vase), oil on paper mounted on canvas, 41 x 33 cm/16.1 x 12.9 in.
In November 1887, Émile Schuffenecker introduced Gauguin to his studio companion, George-Daniel de Monfreid, who two years later was invited to participate in the Volpini exhibition, named after the manager of the Café des Arts just across the street from the Universal Exhibition. The older artist introduced the younger one to Synthetism, which continued to influence him. From 1891, Monfreid received letters from his friend describing his life in the tropics, his art and his difficulties. They discussed their personal feelings and views on art until Gauguin's death.
Born possibly in New York in 1856, George-Daniel de Monfreid was the son of not Caroline de Monfreid but Marguerite Barrière, who was married at the time, as indicated by a birth certificate issued by the French consul in New York over 20 years later. The family was well-to-do, and George-Daniel's Uncle Reed—perhaps his father—financed his studies. During a stay in La Franqui, a small French seaside resort near Leucate in the Aude region, George-Daniel fell in love with Amélie, daughter of the hotel owners, and married her. He then divided his time between Paris and La Franqui in southeastern France and his house in Corneilla-de-Conflent (Pyrénées-Orientales).
He painted his artist friends, views of the region and still lifes in a vigorous style and a range of bold colors. He gave great care to the ornaments he liked to include in his portraits: warm-toned oriental carpets, hangings and ceramics. In 2003, the museums of Alençon and Narbonne devoted an exhibition to the painter, who was then little known and still too often regarded merely as Henri de Monfreid's father and Gauguin's friend.