André Bauchant

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André Bauchant (April 24, 1873 – August 12, 1958) was a French 'naïve' painter. He is known mostly as a painter of flowers and of landscape compositions with figures which were often informed by mythology and classical history.

He was born in Château-Renault, Indre-et-Loire. The son of a gardener, he originally entered his father's trade, and progressed to operating a nursery.[1] In 1914, he was called to serve in World War I. During the military service his drawing skills were noticed and he was trained as a mapmaker.[2] After demobilization in 1919 he found his nurseries destroyed. He and his wife relocated to Auzouer-en-Touraine, where he found work on local farms.[1] Inspired by the rural environment, at the age of 45, he dedicated himself to a career as a painter.[3]

Many of his early works depict biblical or mythological themes. His first exhibit was in 1921 at the Salon d'Automne, where he showed a large Ulysses and the Sirens and eight other paintings.[1] Le Corbusier and Amédée Ozenfant wrote an article about him for the journal L'Esprit Nouveau in 1922, and Le Corbusier became an important collector of his work.[2] In 1927 Bauchant was commissioned by Diaghilev to design sets for Stravinsky's Apollon Musagète.[2]

Subsequently, Bauchant's most frequent subjects were floral still-lifes and landscapes with figures. In 1937 his paintings were included in the exhibition Maîtres Populaires de la Réalité, which traveled to Paris, Zurich, and London. In 1938–1939, a version of the same exhibition was presented at eight US museums, beginning with the Museum of Modern Art in New York.[1] In 1949, a retrospective exhibition of 215 of his works was mounted by the Galerie Charpentier in Paris.[1]

According to the art historian Nadine Pouillon, "Bauchant's treatment of figures, frozen in attitudes indicating a certain awkwardness and as if enshrined in foliage, manifest a poetic and mysterious quality sometimes reminiscent of medieval paintings. This association was further emphasized by his use of unglazed colours in the manner of quattrocento frescoes and by a colour sense similar to that of Giotto."[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e Brettell et al. 2009, p. 276.
  2. ^ a b c d Pouillon
  3. ^ Brettell et al. 2009, pp. 276–277.


  • Bihalji-Merin, Oto (1959). Modern Primitives: Masters of Naive Painting. trans. Norbert Guterman. New York: Harry N. Abrams. p. 265.
  • Brettell, Richard R., Paul Hayes Tucker, and Natalie Henderson Lee (2009). Nineteenth- and Twentieth-century Paintings. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 9781588393494.
  • Pouillon, Nadine. "Bauchant, André." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web.

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