CAILLAUD, Aristide
Born in Moulens (Deux-Sèvres) January 28, 1902. When only a child he looked at the sky and saw things there. At the age of five he liked to draw. That Caillaud was a butcher at Asnières is certainly picturesque, but it is of little importance. What is important, however, is that he is a born painter. At the age of twenty he paints for his own pleasure; he becomes interested in the work of Picasso. But his revelation takes place when he is forty years old. Prisoner of war in 1943 at the Oflag IV D, he undergoes an inner moral crisis. With great luck he is able to procure paints and brushes. And, in a profoundly religious sense, Caillard covers the walls of his barrack with large compositions. On his return, after the war, his vocation has definitely decided his objective in life. Louis Chéronnet gives him advice. Caillaud translates into painted forms the things that his childish eyes have seen and his mind has dreamed: the farm, the chicken coop, the brook, the village circus. But after a trip to Venice he translated his impressions of the unique city into a large canvas which was bought by the Musée National d'Art Moderne in 1957. A religious painter, each of his works: Christ Child in the Manger, The Baptism of Christ, St. Francis of Assisi, is a spontaneous emotion which classes him among the most valuable painters in the renewal of art sacré. Caillaud has not only the genius of invention but a sense of color and construction as well. His way of transgressing the laws of perspective in such paintings as Panorama of Paris and others, the astonishment that is created by such an unexpected aspect of bulk and mass, of colors or of light, bring about a feeling of something almost fairylike. And one should not find fault with his painting The Helicopter which he paints in full flight! He exhibits at the Salon de Mai and at the Galerie Bénézit ( 1957).

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