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 Philippe Henri Noyer  (1917 - 1985)

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Lived/Active: France      Known for: female figure, genre, land-and seascape painting, symbolism

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
shepherd with a goat
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Papillon Gallery:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Philippe Henri Noyer was born on June 28, 1917 in Lyons, France. After a traditional education at the elite Ecole des Roches, Noyer enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Lyon. Next he moved to Paris, where he worked in decorative arts and advertising. It was during this time he discovered his talent for oil painting, officially starting his painting career in 1943. That same year, Noyer met the famed Parisian art dealer, Emmanuel David, who would promote his work and career. Noyer produced many portraits, which became his signature work, but he also painted dream figures in rural or maritime settings, compositions that were classical in technique but surreal in concept. In 1947, Noyer held his first one-man show at the Drouant-David Gallery in Paris.

In 1949 the gallery consigned twenty of Noyer’s paintings to an American art dealer who had agreed to organize an exhibition of them in the United States. However the American dealer sold the paintings at cost, in order cover a gambling debt, to Robert Goldstein, the former President of the 20th Century Fox movie company. Goldstein was so pleased with his purchase that he distributed the art to his friends, including Samuel Goldwyn, who, in turn, made Philippe Noyer’s name known on the West Coast. These events led to a lifelong friendship between Noyer and Goldstein. In the years that followed, Noyer was commissioned to paint portraits of many celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor, Dinah Shore, and Jean Wallace. In the sixties Noyer put aside portraiture in favor of painting delicately stylized, sophisticated, slim, long-limb ladies who were his favorite subject.

Throughout his career, Philippe Noyer’s art seems to have experienced every current of modern art without being influenced by any one in particular, almost lazily accepting traditional disciplines. Modernist yet slightly Surrealist, he compensated for the rigor of his method by the remarkable freedom of his subjects. Noyer intends for the elements he uses in his paintings - the women, the monuments, the animals and the flowers - to come alive under the brush, which translates them in strictly realist terms in compositions that are the fruits of his fantasy and intellectual or literary reminiscences.

Paul Guth, French humorist and journalist, was inspired to write a series of prose poems about his work, which was published in 1951 together with a study of the artist.

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