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 Helene Marie Marguerite Perdriat  (1894 - 1969)



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Lived/Active: France      Known for: portrait, marine and fantasy painting, book illustration

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Ad Code: 4
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from Auction House Records.
Le baiser de l'arbre
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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.

Hélène Marie Marguerite Perdriat was born in La Rochelle, France in 1894.  In 1915 at the age of 21, she became ill and believed she was going to die.  In her sick bed she had a longing to paint a self-portrait; this was the beginning of a long successful career.

She recovered from her illness but required a long convalescence, which gave her the opportunity to continue painting.  She painted more self-portraits, portraits of friends and her sisters.  She painted from childhood dreams, and memories of ships from the Breton coast, and she wrote poems.  She painted animals, ships, and sailors, but always return to self-images, often incorporating her fantasy characters.

When Perdriat recovered, she married the Norwegian artist Thorwald Helleson; they went to Oslo, Norway on their honeymoon.  She took her paintings with her, and for amusement she exhibited them, and they were received well and she sold many canvases.

Perdriat went on to exhibit in London, Berlin, New York, and Chicago.  She continued to live in Paris where she exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants beginning 1919,  Salon des Tuileries, Salon d’Automne, Salon de la Folle Enchére in 1923,   l’Exposition des Femmes Artistes Modernes at the Théatre Pigalle in 1931, and the Galerie Monyaigne in 1920.  In New York, her work was exhibited at the Gallery Neumann and Gallery Chambrun; and in Chicago at Brown-Robertson Gallery in 1930. 

Maybe because she had no formal training Perdriat’s paintings are very personal.  She came from a wealthy family, traveled in artistic circles in Paris even before she painted, and she wrote poetry.  Her paintings are rich with poetry. Like many successful artists she had a style that could be identified as her own, thus her paintings are very recognizable.

Perdriat illustrated several books, and executed engravings.  Her works are in important collections and museums, including the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

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