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.
Though she undertook other art forms - landscapes, small groups of friends, still lifes, making of dolls , Berthe Noufflard was essentially a portraitist, perhaps like her earliest professor, Jacques-Emile Blanche , with whom she and André remained closely allied until his death in 1942.
François Bergot described her work as "painted memories" or "intimate diaries" perhaps because, aside from a limited number of commissions, she mostly used close friends and family as models.
Both Berthe and André, who lost their fathers early in life were reared by their mothers. Berthe painted her imposing mother, Mme Langweil,( famous art dealer of far eastern art) several times as well as her mother-in-law Mme Emilia Noufflard, who as a young widow had settled permanently in Florence, her birthplace, though she often visited her children in France.
Florence was the name of André's elder sister with whom he was always close. She detected his talent at an early age and encouraged his artistic studies. She also influenced André's destiny when she married Elie Halévy, brilliant philosopher and historian, thereby establishing her home in France which provided André with another base. Throughout their lives the two couples, Noufflard and Halévy, remained close; their interests and many friendships being closely interwoven.
Berthe made only a few self-portraits including the very Davidian "Auto-portrait à la palette" dated 1913-14. To the contrary she painted André throughout all the years of their harmonious union from the early period showing him playing solitaire (1912 ), "The tall young man with a racket" evoked by by Alain the year before in Propos 78 of his 101 Propos, continuing through André's maturity, depicting him at their home, rue de Varenne reading ( 1945 ) or in the living room at Fresnay ( 1962 ).
Among other joys, the birth of their two daughters, Henriette (1915 ), future doctor and Geneviève, (1920 )future musician, gave Berthe that of painting children, capturing their unaffected purity. (Geneviève in her high chair and Henriette with a crown of daisies ). She, of course, continued to paint both of her daughters as adults.