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 Henri R. B. Lepetit  (1956 - )

About: Henri R. B. Lepetit
 

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Lived/Active: France/Belgium      Known for: genre, landscape, marine

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Biography from Eclectic Art & Objects Gallery:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born in Brussels, Belgium in May 1956 to German-French parents, Henri Lepetit enjoyed a very normal early childhood in a close knit family with a younger sister and brother. Then in the mid-sixties Henri and his father, a dedicated naturalist, set out on an expedition to Africa. Years pased as they gathered specimens from the remotest areas of the sub-Saharan regions of west and central Africa.

The very nature of this nomadic life ruled out any formal schooling. Barely in his teens, Henri Lepetit joined the rail tracks maintenance crew of an iron ore company, worked on the docks in the port of Abidjan, and bagged spitting cobras in the forests of northern Dahomey to collect the venom for pharmaceutical labs. His art career began sketching specimens to illustrate the research paper that his father was writing. The uncompromising quality required for this task became the guidelines for the perfection he demands from his own work.

With his drawing pad in hand, Lepetit eventually returned to Europe, this time on a cargo ship carrying logs and bananas. During the two months at sea he used his spare time for drawing in details every aspect of that ship. He briefly attended art school in Paris but became bored with an endless diet of still lifes and overaged models and eventually set out on what was to become a lifelong series of world adventures.

The world trips were paid for by painting and selling his work en route. During these years Henri joined and fought in the Rhodesian SAS, got a pilot license, sailed, and dived in most of the world seas and conquered many challenging mountain peaks. He met his wife, Tatjana, a very successful aquarellist, on the French Riviera. Together they travelled and painted scenes throughout the various jungles of south America and south east Asia from a base in a centuries old stone house used as an olive press over a century ago.

The nature of the French landscape and the brilliance of its light are the inspiration for his painting technique. Lepetit restricts his palette to rich warm hues of lavender and orange selects scenes that are full of sunlight with warm colours in strong shadows.

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