Antoine Blanchard, like his predecessors, Edouard Cortes and Galien Laloue, has captured the essence of Parisian life with such perfection, accuracy and subtle intimacy that we cannot help but become an accomplice as well as an obliging and fortunate victim to its lure. With a technique delicate in brushwork, generous in color and alive with a movement that is newer in style and quite distinctive from those he followed, Blanchard paints a Paris that never sleeps, a city bustling with activity, from morning to evening, from season to season. We are invited to stroll amidst the lights and shadows of the exquisite architecture and experience Paris as it once was.
The eldest child of a furniture maker and his wife, Antoine was born on November 15, 1910, in a small on the banks of the Loire, near Blois. As we watched his father shape and carve pieces of wood into masterpieces of furniture, young Antoine’s creativity was inspired already at an early age, with an inclination first for drawing and sculpting, and then for painting. His parents encouraged him to enter the arts and moved the family to Rennes, in Brittany, so that he could attend the renowned Ecole des Beaux Arts there. It was not until young Blanchard moved to Paris in 1932, to continue his fine arts studies, that he discovered his passion and made his impact on the contemporary art world.
Blanchard’s career as an artist spans five decades. He exhibited regularly in the salons and galleries of Paris and received numerous awards. One of the most coveted, the premier prize, Grand Prix du Public, was awarded to him for his painting depicting Cafe de la Paix and the Opera House. Enclosed is a copy of the page from the book describing the process and the prize. The painting for which a photo has been enclosed is similar in composition to the one which won him the prize.
Blanchard passed away in 1988. A book has been published about his life and works.