LEGUEULT Raymond
French painter; born in 1898 in Paris. His mother was a woman of great culture, his father a musician and artist. He grew up a spoiled child. He first studied at the Ecole Commerciale; then, forced to interrupt his studies at the age of sixteen because of illness, he takes advantage of it as soon as he is well again to enroll at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, where he studies till 1917, at which date he leaves for the army. On his return he comes back to the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs where he finds again his comrade Brianchon. Thanks to a grant he leaves for Spain in 1922 and copies Velazquez and Goya. In 1925 he is selected to teach at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs; he moves in with Brianchon and shares a studio in the Avenue du Maine. And with Brianchon he designs in 1925-1928 the décors for Griselidis and The Birth of the Lyre. Faithful to his friendships he exhibits last of all in 1956 at the Galerie Romanet with Brianchon, Legueult, Oudot, Planson, etc., under the title "Peintres de la Réalité Poétique" which expresses very well the meaning of their searchings. He now teaches at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
For years Legueult has belonged to that group of artists called 'painters of poetic reality', each of them being inspired by the same desire to preserve, in a rather conservative way, the direct inspiration of Nature filtered through his individual personality. Legueult has shown himself especially attracted by colour, which transforms all his compositions into an extremely subtle play of rainbowlike iridescence in which the volumes of forms count less than the areas they offer for the use of colour. His art is not much concerned with the space and volume of objects but is completely captivating in its delicacy and grace. Legueult's art is close to music through its subtle orchestration and rare harmonies. Not only in the drawings or the composition or the settings in which he places his people, but in the subtlety of the relationship between tones, his art gives the impression of certain Oriental painting. He introduces us to a poetry in which fantasy has the freshness and unexpectedness of a spring morning. The forms dilute themselves in this magical world in which everything has an equal density and, as in Bonnard's canvases, one has the impression of confusion, but little by little details appear to recompose the forms and thus to give to the poetry the added value of a secret language.
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