André Dunoyer de Segonzac Biography

André Dunoyer de Segonzac was born in Boussy-Saint-Antoine 7 July 1884, and he spent his childhood there and in Paris. His parents wanted him to attend the military academy of Saint-Cyr but, recognising his strong interest in drawing, they agreed to his enrolment at the Free Academy of Luc-Olivier Merson. Merson's academic style of instruction did not suit Segonzac, however, and, following a period of military service, he studied at the Académie de La Palette, whose staff included Jacques Émile Blanche (he would later teach at La Palette with Jean Metzinger and Henri Le Fauconnier). Soon giving this up in favour of an independent course, free of any masters, he later cited 1906 as the starting date of his artistic career. Prolific creator of original prints, Dunoyer de Segonzac developed a light and impressionistic method of fine line. His earliest experiments in etching date from 1919 and he was first introduced to engraving techniques by J.E. Labourer. Dunoyer de Segonzac found his inspiration in the local landscapes of Provence, where he lived for many years. In particular, the port and old town of St. Tropez, on the Côte d'Azur, was one of his favourite locations. At the time this picturesque old town was still a place of local charm, prior to becoming the focal point of the Mediterranean coastline. Dunoyer de Segonzac was essentially a 'realist' in his approach to depicting nature; an artist of exceptional fluency who sketched his work directly from nature on to the copper plate. In this respect he followed in the traditions of the Barbizon School, as is apparent from the marvellous open air spaciousness of his landscape works. Masterly manipulation of line and the extraordinary simplicity of such composition allowed him to introduce an 'impressionistic' form of light into his etched works. These factors all contributed to Dunoyer de Segonzac's very distinct style, and he is widely accepted to have been one of the finest French landscape print makers in history. Dunoyer de Segonzac died in Paris at age 90 in 1974.

Artist's Statement

André Dunoyer de Segonzac spoke of the state of exaltation, of communion with life, nature, and with his fellow beings which enabled the artist unconsciously to exalt, re-create and transcribe the world around.