Private Collection, United States
Born in Paris, Alfred Thesonnier was abandoned at birth by his mother and given into care of a peasant family. His skill in art was first perceived by his tutors at school and through the assistance of the State he was able to study art at the École des Beaux-Arts at Dijon. He was then sent to Paris to complete his studies at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts. It is there that he became studio assistant to the famous portraitist, Frédéric Lauth.
After his military service Thesonnier returned to Paris and started on a piece to present to the Salon des artistes français. This piece gained the artist, then only 23, an honourable mention and a prize. He would go on to win numerous medals, bronze in 1927, silver in 1935 and gold in 1948.
In 1922, a deputy from Puy-de-Dôme persuades him to move to Auvergne in central France where he settles down and starts a family. It is there that he became a teacher of painting at the École des beaux-arts at Clermont.
He spent his summers in Murol in Auvergne and it is there that he becomes involved in a circle of artists, L’École Murol. This school of artist was founded by painter Victor Charreton and his pupil Léon Boudal, both priest and painter. Notably Thesonnier painted a portrait of the priest shortly before his death.
At his retirement he returned to Paris and died in Istanbul in 1973 whilst travelling.