DOMERGUE Jean-Gabriel

Jean-Gabriel Domergue was born on 4 March 1889 in Bordeaux.

His father was a writer and art critic. He was also an editor at the newspaper “La Liberté” and at “L’Echo de Paris”. He studied at the Lycée de Bordeaux and then became a pupil at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He very quickly developed a passion for drawing. In 1913 he arrived second at the Prix de Rome and was awarded the gold medal at the Salon in 1920. Degas befriended him and was his “teacher” for more than a year. In 1939, he made the poster for the first Cannes International Film Festival. He was called a “worldly” painter and his favourite subject was the Parisian woman. One of his models was Nadine Lhopitalier who later became Nadine de Rothschild. He was first noticed for his landscape paintings, but from the 1920s he devoted himself to “La Parisienne”. Jean-Gabriel Domergue painted many couples at the races, but also at the theatre or the opera. He also produced many paintings of naked or half-naked women, but always extremely coquettish and fashionable of his time. He was the portraitist of the women of the world and of the French Aristocracy, but also of foreign women. Domergue produced more than 3000 works including paintings, sculptures, etches and lithographs. Apart from his activity as a artist, Jean-Gabriel Domergue organizes memorable parties in Paris, Cannes, Monte-Carlo, Biarritz, Juan-les-Pins or Deauville. He has also designed dresses, accessories and hats for great couturiers such as Paul Poiret and Henri Marque. From the 1930s onwards, he no longer dates his paintings.

In 1950, he became a member of the Institut de France. From 1955 to 1962, he was curator of the Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris, which allowed him to organize numerous exhibitions on the paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec, Van-Gogh, Goya, Leonardo da Vinci, Seurat, Prud’Hon or Berthe Morisot, etc. His wife was the sculptor Odette Maugendre-Villers.

He died on November 16, 1962 in Paris.