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Julius Bissier's first love was music; he played the cello and loved chamber music. The tiny delicate paintings he created, small incantations of color, are in his fond word "songs."
Bissier's fragile modes had rude beginnings. Son of a French-descended blacksmith whose forebears moved to the Black Forest from Toulouse, Bissier first explored landscape. Gold medals came his way, but after the Third Reich banned him from exhibiting in 1933, and a disastrous fire destroyed all his work, he changed his style. His work became almost Chinese in feeling. Working from 6 A.M. to 9 P.M.in his studio on the Swiss end of Lake Maggiore, he prepared thready-edged linen canvas and irregular pieces of batiste shirting, over which he laid on slick sizing so that the subsequent brushstrokes seemed to float above the surface. His colors went on in spontaneous strokes that evoked a sage's diary.
Written and compiled by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.
Time Magazine, November 8, 1963