Pierre Girieud

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Pierre Girieud , actually Pierre-Paul Girieud, (born June 17, 1876 in Paris ; † December 26, 1948 ibid) was a French painter whose surface painting in complementary colors was stylistically based on Gauguin . There is evidence that he had been friends with Marianne von Werefkin and Alexej Jawlensky since 1906 and through them significantly influenced the stylistic development of Expressionism at the Neue Künstlervereinigung München (NKVM).



Pierre-Paul Girieud was the son of an engineer who was employed by the Saint-Gobain manufacture . In 1879 the family moved to Marseille after the father had been appointed manager of the local branch of his company. Two things should have a decisive influence on the young Girieud. For one thing, it was the landscape of Provence with its ancient and medieval culture. He experienced this in particular during visits to Riez , his father's hometown in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department , which still has impressive Gallo-Roman and early Christian monuments. On the other hand, his father's enthusiasm for painting may have encouraged him to draw himself from an early age. And when he felt more and more urge to paint, it was his father who gave him the first paint box with oil paints when he was only ten years old.

The artistic beginnings

After successfully completing school, military service and u. a. Working as a draftsman for a satirical magazine, Girieud, with generous financial support from his father, went to Paris in the spring of 1900 to become a painter. In essence, he continued to educate himself. He shared a studio with Jules Monge (1855–1934) and made contacts with Jacques Villon , Fernand Piet (1869–1942) and Fabien Launay (1877–1904). Together they drew at the Académie des Beaux-Arts , visited the Louvre and studied in exhibitions Toulouse-Lautrec , Cézanne , Anquetin and van Gogh .

First successes

Girieud was a very interesting and sociable person. This is evidenced by his very early, long-lasting friendships with leading avant-gardists, e. B. with Rouault and Picasso . His early successes with leading art dealers of his time, which provided him with a brilliant living from 1901, suggest that he was a very sociable person. In the years 1902/03 Girieud used the combination of different models. His brushwork in dots and ticks is derived from van Gogh's handwriting. In his still lifes, he also appropriated Cézanne's peculiarity of style, painting porcelain with a hard glaze in which the light is reflected like mother-of-pearl as a highlight. Girieud had a special key experience when he understood cloisonism - Gauguin's painting in surfaces with strong dark contours - which became his stylistic model from 1904/05.

Among the Fauves

Girieud was just as directly affected by the spectacular events at the Salon d'Automne in Paris in 1905 as Matisse , Derain or Marquet . Because together with them he had exhibited his painting The Temptation of St. Anthony in Room VII, the “Cage aux fauves” - the cage of wild animals - which became a much-noticed sensation. Girieud is one of the very first Fauves . The ridicule and press hype surrounding the exhibition seem to have given Girieud new vigor, because for some time he was less orthodox about cloisonism than in the years before and after.

Confession to Gauguin

1906 was also an eventful year for Girieud. His art found its way into the famous collection of the Russian Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin . In the meantime Girieud also frequented the siblings Leo and Gertrude Stein .

If the Nabi Maurice Denis had expressed his admiration in 1900 with his painting Hommage à Cézanne , one of the great founders of modern painting, it was Girieud who in 1906 remembered with his Hommage à Gauguin measuring 2 × 3 meters , that Gauguin gave the Fauves the decisive impetus to design their pictures from new perspectives.

In 1906 Girieud became friends with Werefkin and Jawlensky, who at that time spent almost a year in France. This friendship was to have far-reaching consequences for the development of Expressionism in Munich, where the painter couple had settled. The Russian painter couple spent the remainder of 1906 in the seaside resort of Sausset-les-Pins , just a few kilometers from Girieud's hometown of Marseille. Interestingly enough, Werefkin resumed her painting there - after ten years of artistic abstinence - in the style of Gauguin, which Girieud valued, and which had not yet found dissemination in Munich.

Studies in Italy

In 1907 Girieud traveled to Siena and San Gimignano to study ancient and early Italian painting. This preoccupation meant that iconographically, biblical and mythological themes were to occupy a large part of his repertoire in the future. He also turned to fresco painting , which in turn influenced the color of his oil painting, which became increasingly chalky and took on the character of wall painting .

Girieud and the Neue Künstlervereinigung München

Since Easter 1908 Jawlensky, like his friend Girieud, worked in Gauguin's cloisonistic style and was thus able to advance not only to Kandinsky’s teacher for a while. Shortly before Christmas 1908, Werefkin, Jawlensky, Adolf Erbslöh and the “Tonkünstler” Dr. Oscar Wittenstein (1880–1919) came up with the idea of ​​founding the NKVM, which became official in the spring of 1909 when it was entered in the municipal register of associations in Munich. The first exhibition of the NKVM took place in December 1909. The fact that Girieud was the only French to take part with the painting “Judas” is due to the friendship with Werefkin and Jawlensky.

The fact that he was also able to participate shortly afterwards with four works in the First Salon of Vladimir Isdebsky (1882–1965) in Odessa , among others together with Jawlensky and Kandinsky, was due to his special esteem within the Russian artists' colony in Munich.

In May 1910 Girieud was visited in Paris by Erbslöh - the intimate of the Werefkin and Jawlensky's pupil - in order to use his help to win avant-garde artists to loan their works for the 2nd exhibition of the NKVM. In the course of the year Girieud finally became a member of the NKVM and took part in its second exhibition, together with his French colleagues - Braque , Derain , van Dongen , Francisco Durrio , Le Fauconnier , de Vlaminck , Picasso and Rouault - alongside Germans and Russians.

In May 1911 Girieud was living with Jawlensky and Werefkin when he and Marc from the Modern Gallery Thannhauser in Munich organized an exhibition. When Girieud left Munich on May 15th, it was a huge financial success for him. He was able to sell pictures for over 20,000 francs, including three works by Bernhard Koehler . In addition, the Munich colleagues Erbslöh, Kanoldt and Kandinsky also bought . Marc tried to get one of his pictures by swapping. The purchases from the colleague show that Girieud's art was extremely valued.

Girieud and the Blue Rider

In 1911, Kandinsky and Marc agreed with Girieud to include a treatise on his studies on the “Significance of Early Sienese Painting for Modernism” for the almanac Der Blaue Reiter, which was in preparation . However, due to Girieud's delay, it was not published. Nevertheless, a painting by Girieud appeared as a figure in the Almanac.

In October 1911, Jawlensky and Werefkin visited Girieud in Paris. When Girieud was invited by the NKVM in 1911 to participate as a member in the 4th exhibition of the Berlin New Secession - a spin-off from the Berlin Secession - to which the Brücke painters belonged at the time , he agreed. During the exhibition in Berlin, an event of historical significance occurred. Marc and Kandinsky had recently secretly prepared their separation from the NKVM. To this end, on December 2, 1911, they staged an unfair "noise" around Kandinsky's abstract painting Composition V / The Last Judgment and left the NKVM in order to hold their long-prepared Blue Rider exhibition. Marc and Kandinsky then pressed Girieud to convert to them. Marc had telegraphed him on December 4th and Kandinsky sent him an eight-page letter on the same day. Girieud responded unequivocally to the request of the two that he would not turn his back on his NKVM friends, with whom he consequently also showed his pictures at their third exhibition.

Girieud's high esteem, which Kandinsky and Marc had always shown his art, did not suffer. This is clear from a card that Marc sent to Kandinsky on December 29, 1911, after he had seen the exhibition in the New Secession in Berlin, in which the pictures of the NKVM hung next to those of the Blue Rider and the bridge. Marc wrote to him: “You - and Werefkin, had the greatest effect on [me]. Girieud's big bathers (portrait) [is] also splendid. "

Girieud was also represented in the noble NKVM publication, “Das Neue Bild”, published in 1912. Girieud then tried to set up an artist organization in Marseille that would combine the disciplines of painting and music with the spoken or written word.

The First World War broke off contact with the Munich friends. Girieud was a soldier from 1914-1918. From the 1920s he received orders for several frescoes in public buildings, worked with etchings and lithographs , and worked as a book illustrator and set designer . In 1945 he was appointed professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in Nantes . He was increasingly living in seclusion in Marseille and Cassis . Girieud died on December 26, 1948 in an old people's home in Nogent-sur-Marne .


Important works in the art collections:


  • Otto Fischer: Das neue Bild , published by the Neue Künstlervereinigung München, Munich 1912, pp. 22 and 32–33
  • Alexej Jawlensky: Memories of life , in: Clemens Weiler (Ed.): Alexej Jawlensky, Heads-Face-Meditations , Peters, Hanau 1970, ISBN 3-87627-217-3
  • Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc: Correspondence , with letters from and to Gabriele Münter and Maria Marc, ed., Introduced and commented on by Klaus Lankheit, Piper, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-492-02847-0
  • Véronique Serrano: Pierre Girieud et l'expérience de la modernité, 1900-1912 , exhibition catalog, Musée Cantini, Marseille 1996
  • Exhibition catalog Der Blaue Reiter and the New Image. From the Neue Künstlervereinigung München to the Blauer Reiter. Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Prestel, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-7913-2065-3
  • Bernd Fäthke: Pierre Girieud. Actually a Blue Rider. In: Weltkunst 70./2000, No. 3, Munich 2000, pp. 483–485
  • Bernd Fäthke: Marianne Werefkin , Hirmer, Munich 2001, pp. 136-137, ISBN 978-3-7774-1107-1
  • Bernd Fäthke: Jawlensky and his companions in a new light , Hirmer, Munich 2004, pp. 77–93 and pp. 135–157, ISBN 3-7774-2455-2
  • Bernd Fäthke: Werefkin and Jawlensky with their son Andreas in the “Murnauer Zeit” . In: Exhibition catalog 1908-2008, 100 Years Ago, Kandinsky, Münter, Jawlensky, Werefkin in Murnau. Murnau Castle Museum, Murnau 2008, pp. 47, 55, 56 and 60, ISBN 978-3-932276-29-3

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ "Serrano: Pierre Girieud et l'expérience de la modernité, 1900-1912 . 1996, p. 91. "
  2. Jawlensky: Memoirs. Hanau 1970, p. 112
  3. ^ "Serrano: Pierre Girieud et l'expérience de la modernité, 1900-1912 . 1996, p. 100. "
  4. The painting is in the Musée d'Orsay , Paris
  5. The painting is in the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Pont-Aven) in Pont-Aven .
  6. Bernd Fäthke, Elisabeth Ivanowna Epstein, An artist friendship with Kandinsky and Jawlensky, Clemens Weiler to remember, Galleria Sacchetti, Ascona 1989 o. P.
  7. Rosel Gollek, The Blue Rider in the Lenbachhaus Munich, catalog the collection at the Municipal Gallery, Munich 1974, p 262
  8. "Serrano: Pierre Girieud et l'expérience de la modernité, 1900-1912 . 1996, p. 121. "
  9. Jawlensky: Memoirs. Hanau 1970, p. 112
  10. ^ Mario-Andreas von Lüttichau, Die Moderne Galerie Heinrich Thannhauser in Munich, in: Avant-garde and audience: on the reception of avant-garde art in Germany 1905-1933, Cologne-Weimar-Wien: Böhlau 1992, p. 299 ff
  11. ^ "Kandinsky / Marc: Correspondence . 1983, p. 35. "
  12. Silvia Verena Schmidt, Bernhard Koehler, A collector and patron of modernism, Weltkunst, July 1, 1995 p. 1815 f
  13. ^ Klaus Lankheit, Der Blaue Reiter, edited by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc, new documentary edition, Munich / Zurich 1984, p. 199
  14. Wassily Kandinsky, Our friendship. Memories of Franz Marc, in: Klaus Lankheit, Franz Marc in the judgment of his time, texts and perspectives, Cologne 1960, p. 48
  15. ^ "Serrano: Pierre Girieud et l'expérience de la modernité, 1900-1912 . 1996, p. 121. "
  16. ^ "Kandinsky / Marc: Correspondence . 1983, p. 80. "
  17. ^ "Serrano: Pierre Girieud et l'expérience de la modernité, 1900-1912 . 1996, p. 122. "
  18. Rosel Gollek, Der Blaue Reiter and the Neue Künstlervereinigung München, in: Der Blaue Reiter im Lenbachhaus Munich, Munich 1982, p. 401
  19. ^ "Kandinsky / Marc: Correspondence . Year of publication, p. 93. "
  20. ^ Otto Fischer, Das neue Bild, published by the Neue Künstlervereinigung München, Munich 1912, p. 32 f, panels XIV – XVIII