Ferdinand du Puigaudeau was a French post-impressionist painter
who is admired for his mystical scenes, lyrical and romantic subjects.
* 4 April 1864 Nantes
† 19 September 1930 Manoir de Kervaudu, Croisic
Ferdinand (Ferdinand-Auguste-Marie) Loyen du Puigaudeau was born in Nantes. As a boy he was close to his uncle Henri de Chateaubriant, who encouraged his artistic pursuits. In 1882, the young man traveled to Italy, then to Tunisia.
In 1886, Puigaudeau went to Pont-Aven, well known for all painters, where he befriended Charles Laval and Gauguin. Their relationship is particularly close since 1887 when they planned together to go to Panama and Martinique. Puigaudeau, called Piccolo by Gauguin, couldn't join his friends, instead he had to join the army.
Three years later Puigaudeau visited Belgium and there met the artists James Ensor, Toorop, Vogels and the sculptor Constantin Meunier.
In 1890, he presented his canvases for the first time at the Salon de la Societé Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Through his father he made accquainted Paul Durand-Ruel, the famous mecene of the Impressionists, who exhibited his paintings with those of Henry Delavallée.
Puigaudeau married Blanche Van Den Brouke in 1893 and they had a daughter Odette who would become an ethnologist.
In 1895 the family settled in Pont-Aven. Puigaudeau met Armand Seguin, the poet Ernest Dowson, and the American painter Childe Hassam. In 1897 Degas purchased his "Fireworks" at Durand-Ruel, and since then they had enjoyed a long friendship. The two painters exchanged letters throughout their lives.
In 1903, he held his first solo exhibition at the Galerie des Artistes Modernes, a small catalog is published for the occasion.
In 1904, the artist broke off his relationship with Durand-Ruel and left for Venice, where Puigaudeau painted more than 50 canvases on the subject.
On his return to Paris, the artist found himself in a critical financial situation. His family had to move to the village of Bourg de Batz in Atlantic Loire, their friends lent them an austere villa Fort Hikerik. The artist found a new merchant in Nantes and exhibited at various regional Fairs.
In 1907, Puigaudeau leased the manor Kervaudu on very favorable terms and settled permanently in the peninsula where he lived till his death. Kervaudu became the meeting place of all the artist's friends Émile Dezaunay, Jean-Emile Labourer, and his cousin the writer Alphonse de Chateaubriant.
He will end his life and depressive alcoholic September 19, 1930.
Puigaudeau's distinctive impressionistic style is evident in his variations of color and depictions of light. Throughout his career, Puigaudeau maintained a systematic search for vivid, luminous color.
In each case, the fleeting effects of light and color are his true subject: sunsets, candlelight, and the effects of flickering sun or moonlight on water.
Paintings in museum collections
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana, USA
Madrid ; Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
- Night Fair at Saint-Pol-de-Léon, ca.1894-98
Morlaix ; Musée Jacobins, France
Nantes ; Musée des Beaux-Arts
- Le Menhir, Pol in canvas, H. 65, L. 100, signed lower left, Inventory number 950
Quimper, France, Musée des Beaux-Arts
- Paysage à la chaumière
- Paysage avec arbres
Saint Nazaire ; Musée de Saint Nazaire, France
Ferdinand du Puigaudeau, 1864-1930. With exhibition catalog.
Mars - juin 1998 Musée de Pont-Aven
Novembre 1998 - janvier 1999, Musée des Jacobins, Morlaix
Laurentin, Antoine, Ferdinand du Puigaudeau. Catalogue Raisonné
Editions Thierry Salvador, Paris, 1989.
LePaul, Judy, Gauguin and the Impressionists at Pont-Aven, Abbeville Press, New York, 1987.