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« My prime concern is to construct and re-construct»
J. Chevolleau


Like an ode to femininity, his nudes, visibly marked by cubism, are majestic, generous and sculptural. Seated or lying with shapes modelled by colour, Jean Chevolleau’s nudes are extremely powerful colour-wise but also possess underlying vigour.
« It’s not you who looks at the painting, it’s the painting that winks back at you»
J. Chevolleau


The young painter chose his models for portraits over the years in pace with the people he met in his life: “big boy” Camille Renault, an art enthusiast, restaurateur and patron of the arts, Jacques Villon his mentor, Charlie Chaplin, actress Martine Carol, Jean Cocteau or his wife Luce, his “Luz” or light of his life.
« I can only assert myself in painting with themes taken directly from my home land.»
J. Chevolleau


The marshlands of Vendée, especially the celebrated Marais Poitevin, were a real source of inspiration for the painter with their green and brown colours: poplar trees, pollards and waterways.
« Instinctively I’m swayed by shades of blue… I often left blue off my palette to force myself to look somewhere else.»
J. Chevolleau


After rugged coastlines and mussel beds, the harbour of La Rochelle was one of the painter’s favourite subjects by the end of the 1970s and throughout the 1980s. Painted time and time again from different angles, a rhythm emerges through the vertical lines of masts and sails, and their incessant play on light. The scene produced almost 200 paintings.
« I would like man to look at what he does not see, for him to stop for a second with a given rhythm, with a range of colour, feeling happy.»
J. Chevolleau


Jean Chevolleau was fond of race horses and polo matches. As it happens, with the exception of his portraits, rare beach, fishing or older scenes, these are the only themes where man appears, as his paintings are often devoid of human life. But as in the market scenes, the theme is only an excuse for movement.
« A painting ripens like fruit.»
J. Chevolleau
« Spain rescued me from cubism and my painting took a new path.»
J. Chevolleau


For Chevolleau, Spain in 1965 was a revelation, of colour and light. Toledo, San Martin, Peniscola and Consuegra were now his favourite places to be. Spain was also Don Quixote, the fetching hero of Cervantes and his world of dreams, painted in many different versions by Chevolleau and often said to be a little like self-portraits. From his encounter with Spain there emerged a new artistic approach with a richer palette of colours.
« Go looking for inspiration is a fantastic moment of humility and purity»
J. Chevolleau


Scenes from towns (markets, streets, harbours…) from fields (threshing, rivers with skiffs, roosters…) or private scenes in his studio at Fontenay-le-Comte... this epicurean painter painted life and its simple pleasures. It was here in his native Vendée that Jean Chevolleau drew his inspiration and all his energy.
« For me painting is only possible in a perfect state of equilibrium»
J. Chevolleau


Exhibiting at the Salon d’Art Sacré de Paris in 1956, Jean Chevolleau addressed various subjects inspired by the life of Jesus (the crucifixion, the resurrection, taken down from the cross, the last supper, pietas, Golgotha, the fisherman miracle…) where he alternated between paint, enamel and stained-glass window.
He returned to this theme when discovering the Spain of El Greco in the 1960s and 1970s and painting his famous “Golgotha”, a wild and secret landscape bathed in deep light.