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Joseph Le Tessier

French Post-impressionist painter

Born in Marseille, he shows, at a very early age, an innate faculty for the arts, favored in it by his mother, amateur of art and descendant of the sculptor Simon. However, his father, an established merchant, sees things otherwise. The paternal taste for profit obliges Joseph to study business in Lyon. Armed with the necessary diplomas, he immersed himself in the business. He will last ten years.

Description: Letessier6

Paysage de l'Orxois
Oil on board.
Private collection

In 1900, he leaves his job. Delivered of a long time suppressed frustration, Le Tessier gives himself, body and soul, to painting. He is 33 years old; his future is still in front of him. He studies tirelessly works from the painters from Lyon, Carrand, Vernay, and Ravier. His first and last exhibition takes place in Lyon in 1911. It is a triumph.

Begin then for Le Tessier, his wife and their daughter Marthe, a long wandering that brings them, during World War I, in the Yonne, in Voutenay. The painter achieves there, numerous oils of small formats, all treated on the nabi model beloved of Emile Bernard and Paul Sérusier.

He arrives in Vincennes in 1925. Le Tessier discovers the art galleries of the capital and is enthusiastic about Vlamick, Modigliani, and Soutine. His daughter Marthe learns the etching process and the sale of her works helps the family to support misery.

Description: Letessier5

Vieux moulin près de Noroy-sur-Ourq
Oil on board.
Private collection

In 1933, the Le Tessier family lands in the middle of the country in the south of Aisne. Noroy-sur-Ourcq is a small village perched on the heights, overlooking the valley of the Ourcq, and Jean Racine's native country. The material life of the Le Tessier organizes itself somehow.

For Le Tessier, Noroy will be the place of the accomplished miracle. His pictorial writing has finally arrived to maturity. Taken of an irrepressible vital impulse, the 66 years old painter suddenly asserts a radiant youth. It is the triumph, the explosion of colors, and a permanent firework! From morning till night, he walks the Orxois' paths, his painter's gear under the arm. He looks avidly at the surrounding nature: the curvaceous hills of the Orxois, wheat fields flooded with sun, the Marne valley quivering with light, still-life astounding of colorful lyricism…

The painter "with the illuminated" palette dies in July 1949, at the age of 82, leaving behind him more than six hundred paintings and not a penny… En 1952, three years after his death, a retrospective of his work takes place in Lyon. Unanimously, the art critics praise Le Tessier's uncommon genius.