Races at Auteuil, 1951

by Maurice Brianchon


MEDIUM: Oil on canvas
DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 19.7 x 16.1 inches (50 x 41 cm)
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘Brianchon’ (lower right)

This vibrant painting, Races at Auteuil, depicts a moment of calm at the racecourse in Auteuil, in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris and is characteristic of Brianchon’s later style. The artist’s simplification of the forms blurs the distinction between figures and setting.


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    Catalogue No: 6139 Categories: , ,

    Maurice Brianchon was an influential French Impressionist and Modern painter who is best known for his luminous canvasses often depicting nudes, still lifes and scenes at the French horse race courses, including St. Cloud, Longchamps and Auteuil. He was also a member of the group the Peintres de la Réalite Poétique, (Painters of Poetic Reality).

    This vibrant painting, Races at Auteuil, depicting a moment of calm at the racecourse in Auteuil, in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris is characteristic of Brianchon’s later style. The artist’s simplification of the forms blurs the distinction between figures and setting. The horses and their riders are still distinctive yet their surrounding background is transformed into large planes of crisp flat colour, drawing the viewer’s eye to the blocks of green, red and yellow in the scene.

    Private Collection, United Kingdom;

    Private Collection, France

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    Maurice Brianchon was born in 1889 in Fresnay-sur-Sarthe, France and began his official art training at the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1917. At the age of 23, he was appointed a member of the committee of the Salon d’Automne. By 1934 Brianchon had established himself as an artist, representing France at the Venice Biennale and later winning the Carnegie Prize.


    Thereafter, followed a period of fame and success, which included designing of sets and productions at the Paris Opera. In 1946, he was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and in 1949, he was appointed professor of painting at his alma mater. He was also the subject of a major retrospective at the Palais du Louvre in 1951, and the following year, was selected as one of the official artists of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of England. His first American exhibition was hosted by David Findlay Galleries in New York in 1959.


    In the following two decades Brianchon began spending less time in Paris and more time at his country home in Perigord which eventually affected his paintings. His dynamic images of city life were gradually replaced by more contemplative and relaxed landscaes and still lifes of a mature artist savouring his elder years in the country. Brianchon continued to exhibit regularly in the art-centers of the world until his death in 1979.

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