"Horses are always found in a beautiful environment, at the heart of nature, they're indistinguishable from nature. What I'm interested in is the quest for beauty." – Andre Brasilier
Andre Brasilier’s 1986 oil painting Cavaliers de Loupeigne depicts four horses—three black and one white—as they carry their riders through a deep blue landscape. Elegant and mysterious, the canvas shows the way that Brasilier has taken his love or equestrian subjects, combined it with his memories of growing up in rural France and created a world of intense beauty and rightness. Brasilier’s artistic universe is filled with many such images that have deep roots in his childhood. His wife Chantal—who Brasilier considers his artistic muse—also appears in many of his works.
Like the Asian masters of the past, Brasilier infuses his works with a sense of belonging and understands the poetry of nature. He works in a style that moves away from realism towards Zen simplicity. His colors, influenced by the palette of Impressionism, are saturated and enticing. Because of the dreamlike and contemplative sensibility of his finest canvases, Brasilier’s works have become very popular in Japan, Hong Kong and China, where collectors have made an instant and instinctive connection to the serenity of his painted world.
Andre Brasilier, a painter, printmaker and book illustrator, was born in Saumur, a historic town between the Loire and Thouet rivers, the son of two artists. Growing up surrounded by the many vineyards and great natural beauty of the region made a lifelong impression on the young artist. “I was born to a family dedicated to art,” he recalls. Brasilier knew by the age of ten that he wanted to be a painter and was influence by his father’s spiritual approach to art and life: “I was born in a spiritual setting as my father was dedicated to religious art to the point where he never signed his works.”
At the age of 23, after studiying at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Brasilier won the prestigious Rome Prize in painting, which gave him the opportunity to live and work in at the Villa Medici in between 1954 and 1957. Upon his return to France, Brasilier was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Galerie Drouet that featured the theme of music. With his career successfully launched, the artist went on to take part in more than 100 exhibitions over the next six decades.
Since his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Drouet in 1959, in which he depicted musical scenes, Brasilier has been honoured with over one hundred solo exhibitions across seven countries. Among his major exhibtions were his first retrospective—which included over 100 works from 1950 to 1980—held at the Château de Chenonceau. A second Retrospective took place at the Musée Picasso-Château Grimaldi in Antibes in 1988. Brasilier has also shown internationally in Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Russia, The Netherlands, Korea and Hong Kong.
Now ninety years old, Andre Brasilier continues to paint actively in a personal style that has become increasingly lyrical and distinctive over time.