Jean Julien Massé work can be considered
as the ultimate and sumptuous flowering of what Maurice Ribier
called " the Corot's seeds".
|Pêcheurs au bord
Oil on canvas
He is born in Meaux on November 9, 1856. His
parents hold the hardware of the Rue du Marché. As many
parents, they hope for the boy the gilded future of a notary.
However, the Julien's hopelessly mediocre studies force them to
place him as an apprentice in a Parisian notions store. In vain,
the teenager has no liking for buds and laces. The only incentive
that one knows him then, is the drawing. However, drawing does
not feed its man! As a last resort, Julien Massé enlists
in the army for five years and leaves for Algeria.
For three years, he blackens notebooks and tries
to catch the warm light with the tip of his pencils. Back in Amiens
with his garrison, he takes his first lesson in the Ecole des
Beaux-Arts (school of fine arts) and strengthens his talent in
Boulanger's studio. Introduced to the painter Alexander Bouché,
this one accepts him as a pupil.
|L'Allée Corot à
The dice is cast. Massé settles down in
Luzancy. From then on, he becomes the direct heir of the marvelous
artistic heritage transmitted by Corot to Bouché. Showing
a fierce determination, Massé is quick to collect from
this inheritance the most coveted fruit for an artist: the style.
The painting "L'allée Corot à Luzancy, homage to
the one that refused like him to end as shopkeeper, concentrate
the painter's whole talent. Massé offers the piece to another
painter of the Marne valley, Fernand Pinal.
Julien Massé is a bulimic: he practices
oil, pastel, watercolors, and etching and achieves a remarkable
set of engravings on the old city of Meaux. At the end World War
I, he executes for the Americans a series of paintings accounting
the last offensive of the Marne, at the time of the deadly conquest
by the GIs of the "cote 204" in Château-Thierry.
A prolonged contact with the Briard region allowed
him to get to the heart of its beauty, its secret poetry.
The painter dies in 1954 at the age of 94 in
Luzancy where he is buried, close to Bouché
Translated from a text by Noël Coret, "Les peintres
de la vallée de la Marne, autour de l'impressionnisme". Published