Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Fernand Lantoine, traveler painter.

Fernand Lantoine
(1876 - 1955)
French painter and lithographic printmaker.
Appointed Marine painter 1922.

There's more to Life then printmaking alone and I've warned readers in advance: I've met some very nice and interesting artists along the quais of Paris this summer worth sharing. 
With Fernand Lantoine I've met a painter who not only saw and painted the little steam crane on Quai de la Tournelle (left) but who also painted the Paris washer boats (bateaux lavoirs, below) both subject of discussion in recent postings. He did it in a  wonderful impressionist way using a combination of   suggestive warm and golden summer colors probably originally invented by Vincent van Gogh in these two glorious paintings  below dated 1889/90.

Besides I discovered Fernand Lantoine had a most interesting life and career and left us some very, to me at least, appealing paintings in some very different genres. When you know I perticularly like nice beach paintings, and besides I'm always in for 
works of art showing interiors with grand piano's, but also seascapes with nostalgic  steamer boats, 
and paintings showing exotic places, in exotic colors, with exotic people in  impressive and impressing perspectives, you'll understand why.  
Lantoine was born in Maretz in the North of France and went to live and work in Bruxelles as a (very) young man in 1891, joined the army, faught and sketched in the battle fields of Flanders and after 4 years as a POW was again send to the trenches now on the Russian front. He survivid, worked, organised and held his first exhibition in 1920. How he was trained or he was a self-taught artist I haven't been able to find out, yet.
In 1922 he was appointed "Peintre de la Marine", and now officially appointed as Navy painter enabled him to travel and paint extensively. He first adapted and followed Theo van Rijsselberghe (1862-1926) and George Seurat's (1859-1891) scientifique Pointilisme. In later life he created a much more simplistic but always colorfull and consistent approach and way of painting. 
After he visited Belgian Congo he stayed and lived there for some time and much in the way of Paul Gauquin (1848-1903) before him fell in love with the land and its colorfull people. He created his most intimate and most colorful work here. 
He also seems to have decorated with his painting the Paquebots, the iconic steamer boats, umbellical connectors of motherlands, colonies and far away Oriëntal destinations. 
His painterly style was over the years called, Avantgarde, Oriëntalist, Africanist, Simplistic even. He was named a Post-impressionist painter, a painter-traveller and a Fauvist. All of wich no doubt are or were true to some extent and at some point.  
In WW2 he fled to the free South of France were he kept painting, the Mediteranean shores and its villages 
His Marine employement enabled him to keep travelling and painting. From the Arctic Sea and the Fjords of Norway to Oceania, Madagascar and Somalia unill the day he died in 1955 in the town where he was born: Maretz.
Since there are only a few galeries and auction houses occasionally showing a picture I decided on a rainy day it would be fun to award this artist a posting with some biography scratched together from different sources and a couple of hands full of selected and favorite paintings in the humblest of Weblogs.
The friends Fernand Lantoine made and met abroad and in the Congo are a colorful and and interesting lot too: Jean Baptiste Olive (1848-1936), August Mambour (1896-1968), Fernand Allard l'Olivier (1883-1933)  and last but not least: Pierre Vaucleroy (1892-1980) who was a printmaker too and who shall have a posting of his own. 
Next: more Bateaux Lavoir inspired paintings by various famous but also some lesser known painters.

No comments:

Post a Comment