Georges Cheyssial (1907-1997)

For a long time it was believed that Georges Cheyssial, winner of the Prix de Rome in 1932, future president of the Institut de France from 1975 to his death in 1997, also gold medal at the Salon des artistes français in 1951 and medal of honour at the same Salon in 1958, was destined to be a classical painter, made for historical subject. Then it turned out this Parisian, son of a coachman and of a mother keeper of the Caire arcade, had an acute sense of observation, doubled with an authentic poetry. And so he imposed what can be called the “Cheyssial style”, always tinged with softness, musing, otherwise magic. In other words, the “real” world but subtly and skilfully softened by the palette of an extremely talented artist, for who painting was a source of happiness.