Watercolor on paper
11 x 8 1/2 inches (28 x 21.5 cm)
Framed: 17 x 15 inches (43.1 x 37.9 cm)
Signed lower right: Cassigneul
Private collection, Japan
This painting is sold with a Certificate of Authenticity from the artist.
Born in Paris in 1935, Jean-Pierre Cassigneul decided at an early age to pursue multiple disciplines, and became extremely proficient as a painter, lithographer, engraver, illustrator, and muralist. At the age of 17, Jean-Pierre Cassigneul held his first solo exhibition in Paris. Two years later, he entered the Academie Charpentier and studied under Jean Souverbie, a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris. He passed his entrance examination a year later and enrolled at the L’École Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. From 1956 until 1960, Jean-Pierre Cassigneul was instructed by Chapelain-Midy. During this period, he held exhibitions in Paris and other cities. He had a contract with the Gallery Bellechasse in Paris for several years after his first exhibition at the gallery in 1965.
Since then, his work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe, Japan and the United States, including shows at the Galerie Tivey Faucon and Galerie Bellechase, Paris; Gallery Tamenaga, Japan and Wally Findlay Gallery, New York. Cassigneul has also illustrated several books, including Le Tour de Malheur by Joseph Kessel. Jean-Pierre Cassigneul went on to exhibit in various group exhibitions, including the Salon d’Automne in Paris, where he was a member, the Salon de la Jeune Peinture, and Meubles Tableaux (Furniture-Paintings), an exhibition held in 1977 at the Centre Beau Bourg. In this, he showed a piece of occasional furniture in the Louis XIV manner, the doors and sides of which were decorated with female figures.
The magnetic attraction of Jean-Pierre Cassigneul’s art lies in his ability to transport the viewer to an idyllic world, evoking a sense of nostalgia. His beautiful compositions of striking elegant women are similar in the tradition of the early 20th century French Nabis artists, like Bonnard and Vuillard. His work is greatly influenced by the expressionist painter, Kees van Dongen, especially his very dramatic portraits and use of intense vibrant color. In Cassigneul’s enigmatic imagery, the figures are frozen in time. His subjects remain lost in contemplation, inviting the viewer into the serenity of their world.
This vibrant watercolor depicts a high society event at the races. The women are elegantly dressed in haute couture hats and long coats, and the men are wearing black tuxedos and top hats. All but one of the figures are facing the track watching in excitement as the horses race on. One horse has pulled ahead of the other horses, giving the scene a palpable excitement. This work borders on abstraction, the green color surrounding the figures leads into the race track, the background is painted in pink and orange tones, and the trunks of the trees are detached from the greens leaves.