Thirty years of André et Berthe Noufflard's Prize
Seventeen laureates of the Prize exhibit beside André et Berthe Noufflard.
Until 9 to 19 december 2015
Galerie de la Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris.
André Noufflard was born in Florence January 18th, 1885. He was Italian on his mother's side and French (Normand ) by his father who died when he was 12 years old. After studies in Law ( Rome and Perugia) he decided in 1907 that art would be his life's work.
He first studied drawing and etching in Florence (Studio Simi ) next in Paris (1910) where his sister lived with her husband , Elie Halévy , historian. It was at the Grande Chaumière School that he studied painting with René Ménard and Lucien Simon. There he met his future wife (1910), Berthe Langweil, with whom he renewed acquaintence at the home of Jacques-Emile Blanche. ( cf. the two portraits of André young and old by Berthe.)
Painting in oils was the principal medium of expression throughout his life as it was for Berthe. He was a talented portraitist and still life artist (cf. Attributs de Berthe). However, he was particularly attracted by landscapes where he expressed his love of nature and sensitivity to diverse shadings of light.
One feels in his work his emotions in places dear to him, first in Italy where he spent much of his early life. The young Noufflard couple divided their time between Paris and Florence. In 1913 they purchased a villa near Florence (Broncigliano), Tuscany providing constant inspiration for André. It was there that he painted Mosciano (1914)* a village perched on a hillside. A small painting, calm with a blue sky. Berthe loved it so much that she was never without it to the end of her life. (* André Noufflard, Berthe Noufflard, their life, their painting)
Beginning in 1920, André and Berthe renovated the family home at Fresnay-le-Long near Tôtes (Normandy) which from then on became the most important centre in their lives. In this beautiful home (property of the Noufflard family since 1750) both aristocratic and rustic, typical of Normandy, they sojourned at least half of each year, having as guests family, friends and acquaintances in an atmosphere of rural life and refinement conducive to spiritual, artistic and intellectual pursuits.
The "côté de Fresnay" in the analogy of François Bergot ( alluding to Proust's "Côté de Guermantes") suggests that the light was both interior (spiritual) and exterior so important to André and also to Berthe. A large rectangle of very high trees surrounded the ancient half-timbered house, its vegetable garden mixed with flowers, a small "bouquet" of imposing beech trees, the large adjoining farm, its apple orchard and all aspects of the interior were frequently painted in all kinds of light.
André Noufflard fixed on canvas numerous regions he visited: Provence , often with Rivière, the Alps depicting large landscapes of snow (Galtür), Toulouse and Le Cireygeol (Dordogne) during WW Two, near Paris at the home of his sister and brother-in-law Halévy etc… However, throughout his life he never tired of painting scenes in Normandy - large vistas, haystacks, farms, churches, unpaved country roads and paths.