André Barbier was born in Arras, France
on 24th January 1883 into a family of lawyers.
At the age of twenty, Barbier left Arras and
settled in Paris at the Quai aux fleurs, and in the same year,
1903, he exhibited four paintings at the nineteenth Salon des
As with so many painters of his day, he adopted
on itinerant lifestyle, travelling between Paris, the outskirts
of Paris, the Normandy coast and the Riviera, to say nothing of
his trips abroad, especially to Italy.
Following his illustrious elders, Courbet, Corot
and Monet, he went to Etretat to paint La Manneport and L'Aiguille.
The white cliffs, the pebble beaches and the sea with it changing
tones captivated him.
In 1916 a major event took place in Barbier's
life when he met Claude Monet and sent him gifts of fruit, flowers
and one of his paintings. Monet responded with a gift of three
pastels, and a friendship was born which was to last until Monet's
death in 1926.
Due to his wealth, much of Barbier's work has
remained with his family, but today his paintings are collected
extensively in America and Europe and have recently been bought
by members of the Monaco & Belgian royal families.
André Barbier exhibited in the Salon des
Independants from 1903 to 1914 and finally between 1967 and his
death. From 1924 he exhibited at the Salon des Tuileries. In 1926
he exhibited at the Retrospective at the Société
des Indépendants and in 1937 at the Exposition Internationale.
Barbier uses his own distinctive style
to outline, in a blue-purple flickering, some vague forms buried
in a very delicate light in a skilful and discreet monochrome
Translated from Les petits Maîtres
de la Peintures, Valeur de demain by Gérard Schurr.
Published by Les Editions de lAmateur. Volume II, p. 131
... Talented as your are, with this exceptional
perception you have of surfaces and backgrounds, with that so
lightly steam of air that you can capture on your canvas, it is
not possible that you do not appear as one of your generations
true artists...... Build of mist and light, a world of poetry.
Extract from a letter from Gustave Geffroy (reknown
art critic at the end of the 19th century)