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Louis Berthommé Saint-André is a figurative painter, fresco painter, decorator, illustrator, engraver, ceramist and French lithographer born in 1905. He comes from rural and commercial France: his father ran a wine and grocery business. In his youth, Louis Berthommé Saint-André was injured by a kick, which left him with a stiff leg, preventing him from driving, among other things. The family left Oise to settle in Saintes, where the artist studied at La Recouvrance. He entered as a student architect with Georges Naud, responsible for the historical monuments of  Charente then, in 1921, he entered the School of Fine Arts in Paris.

Louis Berthommé Saint-André is one of the great representatives of French figurative painting in the 20th century. He was trained at the School of Fine Arts by two very old masters who died during his training: Fernand Cormon (1845-1924) and Jean-Paul Laurens (1838-1921). He retains from their training the taste for well-learned techniques, but from his first works, he is part of modernity. His constructions show decomposed forms inspired by Cézanne, while maintaining a keen sense of rigor. He never strayed from realism, but his very colorful, sometimes incisive palette and his freedom in representation gave his painting a bite and an acidity that placed Louis Berthommé Saint-André among the great talents of his time.

Silver medal at the Salon of French Artists where he exhibited from 1924 to 1929, he won the Abd-el-Tif Prize in 1925 and was then the youngest resident of the villa in Algiers. Friend of Jean Launois, in addition to his recognized portraits, he painted Algiers and the Kasbah. His studies of women recall those of Eugène Delacroix, but if his luminous inspiration is due to the Algerian sun, his touch is more Cézanne than purely orientalist. He left Algeria in 1928, to return there in 1931.

Before the war, Berthommé Saint-André exhibited regularly in all the major Salons: from 1928 at the Salon d'Automne, at the Salon des Beaux-Arts (1934 to 1936) at the Salon des Tuileries since 1935. His inspiration is close to surrealism .

During the Occupation, he became very "fauve", in reaction to the darkness of the war. He joined the Resistance, and collaborated with Vaincre (Resistance newspaper).

After the war, he developed a style close to poetic reality (Brianchon, Legueult, Oudot, Terechkovitch, Cavaillès. Caillard, Limouse, and Planson), without however ever being part of the group so called. He is present at the Salon Comparaison, at the Salon of painters Witnesses of our time, is president of the Salon of drawing and water-based painting. He has exhibited solo internationally, in Europe, the USA and Japan in particular. In 1977, he received just before his death, the grand prize of Painters Witnesses of their Time.

He died on October 1, 1977 in Paris.


- Michel Droit. Berthommé Saint-André. Éditions de la revue moderne, 1981.

Wall frescoes

Entrance to the Direction, National School of Fine Arts, Paris

Lycée Charlemagne, Paris, Notre-Dame and the banks of the Seine, 1952

Staircase of the Faculty of Poitiers

Personal exhibitions

Collective exhibitions