Pierre-Eugene Montezin

French, 1874-1946 Biography

A highly acclaimed artist of the French school, Pierre Montezin painted landscapes, figures, and still lifes. He worked with oils, pastels, and gouache, all of which are well suited to his rather impressionistic style with his extremely painterly brushwork.

His father, a lace draftsman, first sparked his son’s interest in the arts by entering him in a decorative atelier where he was intended to quickly learn the art of executing decorative murals. Then, eventually influenced by the theories and techniques of the first Impressionists, he decided to make his debut as a true picture painter artist.

Around the year 1903, Montezin befriended Ernest Quost, who made him focus seriously on his drawing skills and at the same time bestowed him with a real taste for the fine art of painting. It was in this same year as well that he was finally allowed to exhibit his work at the Salon des Artistes Francais after a ten-year pursuit. Seeking a greater audience for his canvases, he took part in an exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool in 1906.

In the year 1914, Montezin enlisted in the war, and served for its duration. Upon his release, he had the uncontrollable urge to take up painting again, and resumed exhibiting his pieces at the Salon des Artistes Francais. He lived for a year in Dreux and in Moret, where he would end up passing the majority of his future vacations. These landscapes inspired his oeuvre and provided him with fresh ideas of what to depict in his pieces. After the war, he found his true style comprised of a skillful pastiche of Impressionism, and found much success.

During the course of his lifetime, Montezin received almost constant recognition for his work as a painter. He was awarded with the third place medal in 1907, the second place medal in 1910, and the Rosa Bonheur Prize in 1920. In 1923, he was made a Knight in the Legion of Honor. In 1940, he was elected a member of the Beaux Arts Academy, taking the seat of the famed Vuillard. In addition, he was made a member of the jury of the Salon des Artistes Francais after having received the Medal of Honor from that revered institution. Montezin’s paintings continue to be highly regarded to this day, finding their way into both public and private collections around the globe.