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Jacques Beauvais

French Artist (1923-2007) 

'Marketplace at the Blvd. Saint Antoine, Paris'

Oil on wood

39.5 x 46.5 in.



Musee de Sceaux, France

Beauvais studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts before exhibiting his work, to great acclaim, at the prestigious Salon des Independants, and the Salon des Artistes Francais in Paris.  His preferred subject matter consisted of animated urban scenes of his beloved Paris:  noisy marketplaces, lush parks and gardens, barges moving lethargically along the Seine, and iconic buildings in the city were immortalized in his nuanced and deeply engaging compositions.

Beauvais’ modernist technique contrasts with his traditional approach to perspective and draftsmanship.  His architectural rendering of the building facades on the Rue Saint Antoine is loose, reflecting a sense of breezy spontaneity.  He creates dramatic angles and exaggerated perspectives, and his use of reductions and abstractions underlie his preoccupation with the surface texture. The rhythmic energy of his brushwork, applied with a sense of deliberation and structure in every stroke, adds vibrancy to the pictorial surface.

Like the Ashcan School in the America, Beauvais depicts the lives of ordinary people in the city and uses contrasting tonalities to heighten the radiance of his composition. A lemon yellow awning of a storefront, cherry red laundry drying from a balcony, and emerald green wrought iron all animate this expressive work.  One can even identify the columned façade of the Church of Saint Paul Saint Louis on the right of the composition, with its domed basilica visible behind the building lining the street.

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