FRANCE, C.1960

26 X 20 INCHES

François Brochet


Brochet was a painter, watercolorist, draughtsman, engraver, sculptor, and designer of ornamental architectural features. He painted figures, landscapes.

François Brochet was the son of the painter and playwright Henri Brochet, and was taught dance, theatre and puppeteering at home.

In 1941 he was under the tutelage of the sacred art sculptor Fernand Py and learned direct carving of wood and polychromy. During this apprenticeship his desire to ensure the continuation of traditional crafts, and especially direct carving, was strengthened. He was also marked by a visit to Le Corbusier.

In 1946 he settled in Auxerre, where he later completed three polychrome stone sculptures measuring four meters in height for the Collège Technique there. From 1948 to 1958 he was very active as a silversmith and in sacred art. In 1960 he created his group Massacre of the Innocents, 12 statues of which were exhibited in 1962. This was followed by: Happy Family (group); Silence; Death of a Man (composed of four two-meter-long figures); The Lovers; Homage to Le Corbusier; and Flight.

After 1963 he added painting, watercolors, and huge woolen wall hangings to his repertoire of activities. His figures in wood, and sometimes in polychrome stone, with their blank eyes and anguished expressions, imitate the tradition of archaic popular craftsmanship, much lauded in France in the inter-war period. His bronze figures are more majestic and their elegance verges on Mannerism, their stylization also recalling the 1930s.

In Paris Brochet participated in the Salon des Indépendants, the Salon d'Automne, Salon des Peintres Témoins de leur Temps, Salon Comparaisons, Salon d'Art Sacré, and Salon du Dessin et Peinture à l'Eau.

His first solo exhibition was in Paris in 1948 and was noticed by the critic Michel Florisoone. He held many solo shows in Paris: at the Musée d'Auxerre (1969); at the Musée de Lons-le-Saunier (1970); and at the Palais des Arts et de la Culture (1974). He also held solo exhibitions in the USA from 1968, in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

In 1963 he received the Prix Bourdelle de Sculpture.