A highly expressive oil on canvas. A distinctive vibrant and vivid piece depicting a woman with a cat in his typical elegance by Goerg. Signed and dated 1944 and further signed a and dated verso. Édouard Goerg was one of the major artists of his generation. His family returned from Australia to France in 1900 when he was seven years old and lived in Paris. Between 1913 and 1914 he studied painting at the Académie Ranson with Maurice Denis and Paul Sérusier. In 1914 he travelled to India, and was then mobilised until 1919. He began teaching engraving at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1949, and in 1965 was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. In the paintings of his early period he attacked the morality of post-war bourgeois society, and in that sense was similar to Expressionist painters like Georg Grosz. The major works of this period are: Pirate (1922); Gourmand (1923); Bar (1923); Wedding (1924); Window (1924); Don Quixote (1925); and Good Fortune (1925). He travelled a great deal, and in 1935 visited the museums of Holland, where he was profoundly influenced by the work of Hieronymus Bosch and Bruegel. He then produced a series of paintings on the theme of the tragedy of the human condition, under the generic title: This Is How the World Turns under the Eye of the Police. After World War II he saved his vitriolic comment for his engravings, and in his paintings stopped criticising real life and instead celebrated the perverse charms of flower-girls. He illustrated many books, including: Tales (Contes) by Hoffmann, Picture of the Beyond (Tableau de l'Au-Delà) by Frédéric Boutet, Knock by Jules Romains, Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire, The Book of Job and The Apocalypse of St John by Sir Isaac Newton, all of which demonstrated his talents as an engraver. When asked about his art, he confessed that he had initially wished to try and unlock the 'comedy of everyday forms'. Essentially a figure painter, he generally painted groups of female nudes; however, these nudes are often accompanied by conservatively dressed male spectators, who are the most enduring symbol of his early comic intentions. Nevertheless, the comedy is charged with bitterness and sarcasm. After several refusals he was accepted at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants, in 1922. His work then appeared at the Salon d'Automne, Salon des Tuileries, Salon des Peintres Témoins de Leur Temps, and the Salon de la Société des Peintres-Graveurs, where he became honorary president from 1945 to 1958. He staged his first solo exhibition in Paris in 1925. After that, he exhibited regularly in France and abroad. There have been several retrospectives of his work, notably in 1988 at the Grand Palais in Paris and the Salon du Verney in Vichy. In 1949 he was awarded the highly prestigious Hallmark Prize for a Nativity, and in 1950 he won the Lugano Prize for engraving.
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