Elisabeth Boehm Ronget was born in 1896 in Conitz, Poland.
Ronget’s career as an artist is illustrative of the challenges
faced by many artists working at the beginning of the 20th century.
Ronget was schooled in traditional styles but quickly became engaged
with the new approach modernists were taking. What resulted for Ronget
was a body of work hat combines the skill of traditional training with
the excitement and exploration encouraged by Cubism.
Ronget developed a passion for drawing at an early age. Her parents
recognized her interest and sent her to the School of Fine Arts in Vienna.
Her traditional schooling involved academic drawing classes, and copying
master paintings in museums.
At the turn of the century Viennese society was exploring the ideas
of the avant-garde. Secessionist movements began there as artists rebelled
against traditional restrictions on the definitions of art. It soon
became apparent to Ronget that what was occurring at a small level in
Vienna was taking place on a grander scale in Paris, London and Berlin.
Having perfected classical drawing technique, Ronget moved to Berlin
in 1926 and became associated with avant-garde artists in the November
In Berlin, Ronget was exposed to Cubism and the works of Der Blaue Reiter
that were working in a colorful decorative style similar to the Fauves.
With this exposure Ronget understood that the early modernists were
proposing an entirely new way of making and considering art. Adopting
the new tenets of modernist painting, Ronget began exhibiting her Cubist
pieces in restaurants and bookstores. Some pieces were purchased which
encouraged her to continue. By 1930 the political situation in Germany
had become dangerous and in 1931 Ronget moved to Paris. She enrolled
in the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and made a living
decorating restaurants as well as designing fabrics and wallpaper for
French fashion houses.
In Paris she met and married Paul Ronget, a doctor, who introduced her
to painter André Lhote. In Lhote’s studio Ronget discovered
color and became familiar with the revolutionary work of Paul Cézanne.
Under the influence of Lhote, Ronget’s forms simplified and her
palate changed to incorporate earth tones of ochre, browns, mauves and
blues. In the academic Cubism, which assimilated by Ronget, forms are
flattened and simplified, backgrounds are reduced to fields of geometric
pattern. Ronget’s choice of subject matter was in keeping with
other Cubists and included card players, musical instruments, and people
gathered at bar.
In 1934 Ronget began exhibiting at the Salon d’Automne with André
Lhote. A series of one woman exhibitions followed and resulted in sales
to collectors throughout Western Europe. In 1941, after the invasion
of France, Ronget and her husband moved to Provence. Although she never
returned to Paris she continued to participate in exhibitions. In 1946
she showed at the Salon des Indépendants; in 1953 at the Salon
des Réalités Nouvelles; and in 1956 at the Salon des Surindépendants.
Ronget died at the age of 66.
Biography courtesy of Kristin Poole.