Louis Cazals

Louis Cazals was born in Prades in 1912.

In 1927, aged fifteen years, Louis Cazals began his apprenticeship as a painter and decorator in J. Eyt Street Lower. He learned the art of bas-relief of Romanesque and marbling.

In 1930, the Cazals left Prades to settle in Paris where he lived at the workshop Maison Laffite, the coppersmith Laurent Llaurensou.

Louis Cazals completed his apprenticeship and training with many visits to the Louvre Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. He argued that art is in the service of everyday objects. In this artistic immersion, Louis Cazals was happy to combine his career as a craftsman decorator and a painter.

In 1932, he settled as a painter and decorative artist in the small village of Roussillon. Having begun as a painter of landscapes and still-lifes, he then received advice from the Catalan painter Rafael Benet who became a friend and teacher. This meeting enabled him to acquire the basics of painting and allow him to establish a link between technical, artistic movements and creative impulse. His interest was focused on Impressionism.

In 1940, he was a prisoner in Germany, and was repatriated in 1942. In Prades he exhibited the works he completed during the period of captivity. On that occasion, he met the cellist Pau Casala and the politician Albert Sarraut, who both took an active interest in Cazals and his work.

Though he painted views of his native village, Cazals often neglected the harsh landscapes of the Roussillon. He also depicted the Gers and the Lot in 1943, for his first exhibition in Toulouse; the Ile de France and the Morin valley in 1944, upon the advice of Dunoyer de Segonzac; the Parisian streets and the bridges and quays of the Seine in 1945; St. Tropez in 1946 with Dunoyer de Segonzac; and Perpignan in 1947. In 1948 he had an opportunity to paint the ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. He also worked in Ostend and Bruges and stayed in Brittany. He also visited Provence in 1949; Morocco for its landscapes and ports in 1950 – 52; Brittany and Normandy in 1954; and the Basque coastline and the Landes Region in 1955. Cazals was in Normandy again in 1956 where he met Othon Pfriesz. In 1958 he was in Vendee and the port of La Rochelle. He travelled to Venice in 1972, and from 1972 – 75 to the North Sea and the Baltic, stopping in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Hamburg, among other locations. Through his travels he became a painter of the canals of Amsterdam and Amiens, the quays of Paris, the pools in the park of Versailles, the ports of Rotterdam, Honfleur and Concarneau. Both his sketches and paintings were executed rapidly, in the elliptical manner of Albert Marquet .

Cazals participated in numerous collective exhibitions, notably from 1943 in Paris, at the Salon des Artistes Francais and the Salon d’Automne, as well as other shows in provincial cities. His solo exhibitions were frequently thematically organised around a specific subject, such as the city or a port.

Bibliography: Pierre Camo ‘L. Cazals’. Benezit III

His work can be found in Chicago Museum, Museum of Modern Art in Paris and Schenectady.

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