Published on : 29 March 20214 min reading time
Painting is one of the oldest arts, dating back thousands of years ago. Over the years, there have come top painters who intrigued the world with their fine paintings. Some top painters include Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Jackson Pollock, and more. France also had some top names in the painting industry, and one of these names is George Mathieu; click here to view and purchase his paintings.
Mathieu George was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France in 1921. Mathieu was a self-taught painter, and he’s considered one of the greatest to hail from France. He’s also considered one of the forefathers of European lyrical abstraction.
George’s father was Barclay’s employer, working as the bank manager. It was his mother who got interested in painting, though. Unfortunately, his parents split up in 1938, and he was placed under his aunt’s care.
George Mathieu attended various schools, including Lycee Hoche. Later, he enrolled in the University of Lille, where he majored in English as well as law. In 1942, he taught English at a school located in the northern part of the county. George served at different positions in his early life. At some point, he worked in the American army as their interpreter.
Mathieu’s interest in painting
George first showed his painting prowess when he executed a figurative painting of England in 1942. He used postcards to make this painting. In 1944, Mathieu George began his reflection on the concept of non-representational art. Thus, he painted
his first painting that did not depict anything in the real world, inception.
Moving to Paris
In 1947, Mathieu moved to the capital, where he worked as the head of public relations for the United States Lines. This job allowed George to meet his potential customers, including Salvador Dalí, one of his first clienteles.
From 1953 to 1963, George was the editor-in-chief of the Paris Revue, a journal for the same company he worked as the head of public relations. This yearly journal was distributed for free until 1963 and ran over 15000 copies. With such reach, this new job allowed Mathieu to interview celebrities, including Henry Miller.
Mathieu’s work first got proper recognition in 1946, when his paintings were featured in a major art exhibition in Paris. But it was until 1957 that he became recognized globally. He traveled and showcased his painting skills in various countries from 1957, including Japan, the USA, and Brazil. Now, his works are available in over 90 museums worldwide.
George painting skills and execution
George handled flannels, brushes or painted straight out of the painting tube. He was among the first people to use the dripping technique for his 1945 painting, Evanescence. Typically, George was fast while painting, and his speed became a trademark feature. In 1959, Mathieu created a painting depicting the St. Bartholomew’s massacre in less than an hour. He said he did not paint fast because he wanted to break records or in a hurry, but simply because the provided time was enough to complete a painting. George did most of his works on Sundays, and he occasionally wore costumes while painting. He was so invested in history that he named most of his paintings after historical events, especially battles.
Mathieu sadly passed away on June 10th, 2012, at 91. He left a legacy as the father of lyrical abstraction and one of the best painters to come from France. His paintings are available in museums, and you can also purchase replica paintings from various online stores.