Portrait de Mademoiselle R. Lequien
Oil on canvas: 150 x 114 cm
Framed size: 164 x 128 cm
Signed & dated 1914
Also titled & signed verso, William Malherbe
William Malherbe was a French Post Impressionist artist born in 1884 in Senlis just north of Paris who forged a successful career in both France and the USA with his colouful still lifes, portraits and nudes.
Early in his career, during the First World War, William Malherbe was commissioned by the French Government to design patriotic posters. His experiences in the War marked him deeply, experiences also shared by his brother Henry. He illustrated his brother’s Goncourt Prize-winning war memoir La Flamme au Poing in 1925 with copper engravings. He continued after the War with a successful career in Paris, exhibiting at the Salon de Automne, and with the renowned dealers who first commercially exhibited the Impressionists at Galerie Durand-Ruel.
At the age of fifty five in 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War he travelled to the USA. Here he settled in the town of Thetford, Vermont, continuing to paint and exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC to great acclaim. Ever faithful to the colourful, light infused tradition of the Post Impressionists, particularly influenced by Bonnard and Renoir, he continued to paint luminous landscapes of Vermont and Gloucester, portraits and nudes whilst living in the USA.
William Malherbe returned to Paris in 1948, and died in 1955. The Musee de l’Art Moderne in Paris holds an example of his work, La Lecture, and examples of his paintings can be found in collections in France and USA.