French (1889-1953)

Lucien Adrion was born in Strasbourg, France in 1889 and died in Cologne 1953.

Post-Impressionist Lucien Adrion is considered an engraver, watercolourist and painter from the French school. He began his initial studies in Strasbourg as a draftsman. In 1907, at the age of 18, Lucien travelled to Paris to work for a large drafting company but changed his mind upon arrival. Rather than working for a large company, he decided to peruse his dreams of becoming an artist. Travelling as a “humeur vagabonde” Lucien decided to leave Paris for London, Munich and to Frankfurt

After the demobilization of Berlin, Lucien would study engraving under Franz Ritter von Struck (1863-1928), who was Marc Chagall’s teacher

At the age of 30 Adrion retraced his steps to Frankfurt, where he began to produce signed lithographs, and from there he made his way back to Paris. Soon after his return he signed a contract with the dealer Chéron who staged his first one-man show in February 1921.

He acquired a studio in Montparnasse and began to associate with the young Eastern European painters such as Chaime Soutine, Krémegne and Kikoine who were coming to preside over the artistic community. In spite of his friendship with these young bloods of the avant-garde, Adrion swiftly made his reputation in orthodox manner as “le peintre des rues Parisiennes”. His fame rested on his ability to perfectly capture the bustle of crowds on the boulevards. Just when his future security seemed guaranteed the “humeur vagabonde” again came to the fore. He tore up his contract with Chéron and left Paris for the sunlit beaches of Normandy which immediately supplanted the streets of Paris as his favourite subject. These too soon proved just as popular. No longer under contract to exhibit with one gallery he found it necessary to show his paintings to as wide an audience as possible and so in 1926, at the age of 37, he made his exhibiting debut at the Salon des Indépendants. He continued to show his beach scenes there and from 1940 he also exhibited at the Salon d’Automne and at the Salon des Tuileries from the following year. He died in Paris in 1953.

An important retrospective of his works was held at a gallery in Cologne in March 1973 and this reinforced the importance of beach scenes among his oeuvre. These have proved the most commercially sought-after of his works for the past two decades, with a fine but by no means exceptional example selling at Sotheby’s New York in 2008 for over $100,000.

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