Pierre Eugène Montézin (1874-1946)
The hay harvest,
oil on board,
21¼ x 25¼ inches
Authenticated by Cyril Klein-Montezin
Click on image to expand
A very engaging composition with a vivid palette and attractive brushwork.
Pierre Eugène Montézin (1874-1966) is well known for his impressionistic landscapes and cityscapes, predominantly depicting the countryside of Ile-de-France and Parisian street scenes.
He was born into an affluent Parisian family. His father created lace designs and encouraged his son's artistic ambition, apprenticing him to a mural painter. During this period he also studied under Ernest Quost (1844-1931) whose influence can be seen in Montezin's bold palette. It took some time for Montezin to gain acceptance by the Parisian establishment; his work was consistently rejected by the salon over a period of ten years until he was finally accepted in 1903.
The First World War was to halt his artistic career; he enlisted and gained the Médaille Militaire after the battles of the Meuse. After the war he returned to his painting, almost exclusively working en plein air, capturing the countryside surrounding Paris and those who toiled and lived amongst it.
After such a slow start to his career, he experienced a comparatively meteoric rise to recognition following the war. He was awarded the Rosa Bonheur Prize in 1920; was named a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1923 and received the Medal of Honour at the Salon des Artistes Français. This last award was a significant coup as this was the first time that the award had been given to a landscape painter, a category that had hitherto been considered inferior to the more established disciplines (portraiture, genre, etc.).
The pinnacle of his career was his unanimous election to the President of the Salon jury in 1932. He exhibited extensively during this period and his work was highly sought after by the public at his large-scale exhibitions of 1932, 1936, 1938 and 1943. He painted right up until his final days and was actually on a painting trip in Britanny when he died suddenly in 1946.
His work remains enduringly popular and sought after and can be found in numerous public and private collections across the globe.