French painter born in Montauban September 30, 1894. In 1912-1913 he is a student at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs where years later he will teach. He is friendly with Marquet, Gromaire, Villon, Goerg, Walch, Lotiron, and he exhibits with them. He travels, visits the musuems of Europe and copies the Old Masters: El Greco, Titian, Veronese, Delacroix, Bruegel, Cranach, Grunewald, Fouquet, the colorists especially.
He paints with passion. "Don't let him have your house while you're away on a long trip," writes Georges Besson. "For when you return you'll find the interior walls covered with compositions, the ceiling plinths, the windows decorated, the façade painted in a fresco manner, with the help of a neighboring mason. And on the mantlepieces you'll find ceramics, and in your sideboard a polycromatic set of dishes which you had not left there at all."
Cubism and Fauvism had already begun when Desnoyer was old enough to interest himself in painting. It was no longer tempting to adopt one or the other. Besides, a lucid and independent mind like his could not choose one trend to the exclusion of the other. Recognizing the importance of the contributions made by the new schools, Desnoyer took from each what best suited his temperament. He took over the rigid construction and geometrical framework of Cubism, and the intensity of colour of Fauvism. From this duality Desnoyer built up a stable and solid art. Everything in him lends itself to a double interpretation: he is a mild giant, and a placid southerner; his art has the freshness of spontaneous impressions, and the sureness of well-thought-out work. Desnoyer's originality lies in his having found unity in these apparent contradictions, of having created a healthy language for himself, in which everything is in place, without affectation. His personality is so much in evidence that it always dominates the subject. A landscape of Venice, Albi or Sète, a nude or a still life, is first and foremost a picture by Desnoyer, with his particular harmonies and structure; that is to say, a combination of vividly coloured planes, sonorous contrasts, clean-cut drawing with a rhythm provided by the play of straight lines; a work in which one feels the will but not the effort, a balance between reason and instinct, leaving no room for misunderstandings, just as there is no room for shadows in these compositions in which everything has the right resonance.