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Charles Kvapil was born in Czechoslovakia on November 1, 1884, and died in Paris in 1957.

He takes courses at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. His first works are exhibited in 1908, at the Salon of Antwerp. In 1911, he exhibits in Munich; his works show a definite cubist influence in a well-tempered, organization and simplification bill. Arrived at a young age in Paris, he sets up his studio in Montmartre in the Hamlet of Artists, between Lepic Street and No. 11 Junot Avenue near those of Utrillo and Valadon; it is there that he will die.

In 1912, he exhibits at the Salon des Independants. In 1914, he presents his works again in Belgium at the Brussels Triennal.

from March 19th to May 18th included - Society of Independent Artists

"It's at the Salon des Independants in 1920 that Kvapil reveals himself to the Parisian public"

After the war, he lives a very poor life but, with an optimistic temperament, he hopes to break through; he has to work to survive and he paints especially in the evening, especially during his first years in Paris. It is at the Salon des Independants in 1920 that Kvapil is revealed to the Parisian public. He exhibits six paintings: "My campaign", "portrait of woman", "Houseboat", "Poplars", "Bras St. Jean (landscape)" and "Still Life". He is domiciled at 233, rue d'Alésia in Montparnasse."

The artist, his wife and his model at the seaside (1920) - Oil on canvas - 150 x 120 cm

Center Georges Pompidou - Narional Museum of Modern Art

"In the wake of the legendary figures of Montparnasse, in their shadow, and by them held at a relative discretion (the behavior of artists entering many into the brilliance of their career and the exclusive attachment to their production, without extension" social " " condemning them to darkness), is Charles Kvapil. He frequents the Parnassus café [...] and is exhibited there in a small group organized by A. Clergé, "the Company of professional painters and sculptors", which manifests itself in 1921. The preface is written by Romoff. A second follows shortly. It includes 102 participants, including Friesz, Lagar, Zorate Ortiz, Scouëzec, Astoy, Roysen, Loutreuil, Krémègne, Gallien, Goncharova, Lebedeff, Ramey, Kvapil. He remains attached to the folklore of the Bohemian painter whose Montparnasse is the field of exploits and the model of life "(Jean Jacques Lévêque" The Roaring Twenties, 1918-1939 - The Triumph of Modern Art ", 1992).

He exhibits at the gallery Colette Weill. In 1923, his works are hung at Marcel Bernheim, then at Dalpeyrat, in Limoges, where he shows mostly landscapes. Subsequently, he participates in the Salon d'Automne; to that of 1941, he presents "Phlox", and in 1944 "At the window". In 1951, at the same Salon, he exhibites "Plaisir d'été" and "Le Goûter".

He exhibits during his lifetime in Paris, Munich, Brussels, Geneva, Italy, Stockholm, London and New York.

He is now represented in numerous public and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, the museums of Le Havre, Libourne, Rouen, Saint-Etienne, Amsterdam and Tunis.

Charles Kvapil is known mainly as a painter of characters, especially for his representations of naked women for which his friend Ginette often served as a model; he painted models in the studio, sometimes in front of his window with the Montmartre hill in the background; often bathers or female nudes placed in groups of characters, in the manner of Courbet and the Impressionists at their beginning.

He is also creator of many portraits; but he did not disdain either the still lifes, especially the bouquets of flowers, or the landscapes, which form an important part of his work.

He painted many regions, including Corrèze, where he "knew how to grasp the character of the country that is not his, with his usual mastery" (SSHA Bulletin Corrèze), the Mediterranean coast, Corsica, where he stays regularly in the 1920s and 1930s; in Paris he participated in exhibitions of painters of Corsica in 1925 and 1933. In 1939, at a new exhibition of Art Corse, at the Gallery The Team, still in Paris, he presented two paintings titled "Costa Brugiata, Cap Corsica "and" View of Rogliano ". He is also the creator of "On the Island" (1923), "Querciolo, Rogliano" (1923), "Corsican Woman" (1924), "Landscape of Corsica" (1933) (information Cronica di a Corsica).

Charles Kvapil was influenced by fauvism and a very temperate cubism; Paul Cézanne and to a certain extent Matisse (as a colorist), also marked his style. The desire of construction of the artists of the group to which Kvapil belongs, "did not lead to distortion, except once or twice at Kvapil" .... Kvapil and his friends "thus engaged in thorough technical studies according to the masters, all without exception have loved the beautiful solid and dense material. Their work is related, moreover, not to the classical tradition of transparent painting, but to that of the opaque painting of Frans Hals, Rembrandt and Chardin, almost alone in force since the beginning of the nineteenth century [...] so they paint all in dense pasta but without excessive excess "... (Germain Bazin," the love of art ", 1934).

Charles Kvapil's paintings are original and modern, his nudes and bouquets of flowers are strong and powerful. His palette is rich in cobalt blue and warm colors. His technique is voluntary and powerful. His works in oil are often of modest size, sometimes painted on panels, or on cardboard. He also practiced with great skill the technique of pastel. P. Béran, in a study he has dedicated to him, praises the richness of his material and all that his art owes to the joy of living.

"A work modeled on a life totally devoted to the pleasure of painting. (Jean Jacques Lévêque, ibid.)

He was an indefatigable worker, and this is what he says: "the painter must speak little, but he must comb a lot"


Jean-Daniel Maublanc, Charles Kvapil, painter of figures, 72 p.

Jean-Daniel Maublanc (preface by Louis Parrot), Perspectives - Marcel Lemar, François Eberl, Marcel Roche, Jacques Villon, Charles Kvapil, Charles Jacquemot, Pierre Bach, Julie Winterová-Mezerová (cs), G. Girard Publishing, Paris, 1931

Germain Bazin, The love of art, 1934

Jean Jacques Lévêque, The Roaring Twenties, 1918-1939 - The Triumph of Modern Art, 1992

André Roussard, Dictionary of painters in Montmartre, A. Roussard editions, Paris, 1999, p. 342.