Maurice ESNAULT (1854-1940)
"Young lady in a room"
Oil on canvas. Signed and dated (1921 or 1929)
Maurice Esnault :
French. Born in Marolles le Braults near Le Mans.
- successful exhibition in MILAN (Comoedia 23 mai 1932)
- Exhibited in Galerie Margoulies in Paris with Friesz, Kisling, Utrillo, Vlamink. (La Semaine à Paris. 9 janvier 1931)
- Exhibited in Galerie BING. (Les nouvelles Artistiques, Juin 1931)
A full article is dedicated to him in "L'homme Libre" 6 of July 1931.
Mr. Maurice Esnault is painting for next twenty or thirty years, if not more. I doubt that it is understood by our contemporaries. Will the visitors of his exhibition (Galerie Bing) really taste this effort of extreme simplification which reduces the landscape to its essential lines and to a drawing of large nuances? It is doubtful. But whatever.
The interpretation he offers us of the cathedral of Paris (once under the snow and another time under the sun, dodging carefully all the difficulties of what is foreign to the moulting perspective) is most curious . There emerges a very abstract but very unexpected poetry.
His interpretation of the old port of Marseille, with its boats seen from the sky, staining the sea, with large touches, is no less essential. Eye is not yet used to such simplicity. He wants houses to have windows and the water to be wrinkled. He wants a cathedral to be sculpted and that a landscape is not only a pretext for colors.
Is the eye right? In painting, it is prejudice that rules. The artist who frees himself from it only runs the risk of being misunderstood. But it opens the way for those who come behind him and reminds us with opportunity that the profession of the painter consists in violating the colors according to his free will.
There is, moreover, on the whole exposed, a small table entitled The pond, which proves that all the simplifications of the spirit can nothing against the poetry of the things.
- F. JEAN-DESTHIEUX in "L'homme Libre" 6 of July 1931.
To conclude, in my opinion, no doubt that Maurice Esnault is one of these few forgotten painter that art market, one day will discover and bring to the level he deserves.