Jules Cavaillès was part of the ‘Réalité Poétique’ group which included Christian Caillard, Maurice Brianchon, Kostia Térechtovich and André Planson. Their main aim was to imbue their work with a ‘joie de vivre’, revealing nature in all its glory. Like many inter-war artists, they were influenced by the Fauves colouration but with less intensity and more regard with to expressing a joy for life. The artist loved painting scenes evoking the pleasures of life, such as with Fenêtre à Cannes.
“Nothing should be ‘inhabited’ in a painting, no space should remain lifeless. Everything should conspire to enhance a painting’s harmonious balance. This is what invests a painting with its vibrancy.”
– Jules Cavaillès
Born in 1901 in Carmaux. Cavaillès began his training as a technical draughtsman. It was during this period that he met the artist Bernard- Joseph Artigue, also known as ‘le père Artigue’, who was a good friend of the famous pointillist, Henri Martin, and who encouraged Cavaillès to travel to Paris to pursue the fine arts.
Cavaillès enrolled at the Academie Julian in 1925 and was exhibiting in the Parisian Salon by 1928. He was soon invited to display his work at the Salon des Tuileries in 1936 and was invited to help organise the 14th exhibition of the Artistes de ce Temps in the Petit-Palais. Furthermore, during the same year he received the Grant Blumenthal and was commissioned to decorate the Pavilion of Languedoc for the Éxposition Universelle.
Cavailles primarily worked in oils, gouache and pastel in order to achieve these vivid colours and his subject matters vary from portraits, nudes, still lifes, flowers, landscapes and animals.
‘Nature Morte aux Tulipes’ by Jules Cavaillès
OIL ON CANVAS
12.5 x 26.5 in./ 32 x 67 cm (unframed size)
Signed and dated, 1903
Here Cavaillès depicts a figure reading in front of a window that overlooks a beautiful view of the harbour in Cannes, a city in the Southern French Riviera. The painting is full of light and energy as he uses vibrant colours of yellow, light blue and pink to create a harmonious scene.
‘Route a Mougins’ by Jules Cavaillès
DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 29 x 18 inches (73.7 x 45.7 cm)
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘J CAVAILLES’ (lower right);
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas
Cavaillès’ work is characterised by the juxtaposition of blocks of pure colour in a manner that can best be described as ‘toned-down’ Fauvism – a style espoused by many artists during the inter-war years – where intensity and innovation are essentially replaced by a straightforward joie de vivre. He exhibited in the company of artists who belong to the loosely-termed Poetic Reality movement.
Jules Cavaillès was a painter whose art expressed the ‘joy of living’. He adored cheerful images which conjured up the pleasures of life: glorious harbour scenes viewed through open windows, the fresh countryside, naked women, colourful flowers in decorative interiors. He composed and recomposed this selected reality at leisure, presenting it through objects gleaned like repositories of memories, and he infused his art with life,
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