Emilio Grau-Sala (1911 – 1975)
Emilio Grau-Sala was born in Barcelona in 1911, and studied art at the School of Fine Arts in his native town (Escuela de Bellas Artes). He moved to Paris with his wife, artist Angeles Santos, at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936.
Grau-Sala quickly found professional success, exhibiting initially at the Salon de Printemps, but also at various galleries and Salons. His work was influenced by artists such as Pierre Bonnard and Raoul Dufy, producing figurative work in a Post-Impressionist style. He depicted graceful landscapes, tranquil interiors and sunlit gardens, painted in a loose style permitting him to create luminous compositions full of lyricism. He also exhibited internationally in London, Buenos Aires, and Los Angeles, winning a Carnegie Prize in 1937 at an exhibition in Pittsburgh, USA.
He acquired a house near Deauville on the Normandy coast, and much of his subject matter was influenced by the town and its surroundings. The Normandy landscape, beaches, markets, and above all the colourful racing at Deauville.
He also illustrated books by French writers such as Maupassant, Colette, Flaubert and Baudelaire. Two of his paintings can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
After twenty-five years of living in France, Emilio Grau-Sala returned to his native Spain. He died in 1975.