Yves Brayer

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Yves Brayer (1930)

Yves Brayer (18 November 1907 – 29 May 1990) was a French painter known for his paintings of everyday life.

He was born in Versailles and became prominent in the years between World War I and World War II. He studied in Paris at the academies in Montparnasse starting in 1924, and then at the École des Beaux-Arts.

Although he was independent and never belonged to a school, he was friends with Francis Gruber, the founder of the Nouveau Réalisme school.

He first exhibited in the salons of 1927, and then traveled to Spain, where the masterpieces in the Prado Museum had a profound influence on him. After a stay in Morocco, he went to Italy, where he won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1930.

He settled back in Paris in 1934, organizing his first solo exhibition. He remained in occupied Paris during World War II.

After the war, he traveled widely to Mexico, Egypt, Iran, Greece, Russia, the United States and Japan, trying to capture the light and colors of each country. He was interested in the techniques of copper plate engraving and lithography and produced illustrations for editions of such authors as Charles Baudelaire and Paul Claudel. He also created murals and wall ornamentations, tapestry cartoons, maquettes, sets, and costumes for the Théâtre Français and the operas of Paris, Amsterdam, Nice, Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Avignon.

He was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1957. He was also president of the Salon d'Automne for five years and curator of the Musée Marmottan in Paris for 11 years.

He died in Paris.

Commemorative plaque


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