Paintings and Drawings by F. Marchand

ID: 1044, Status: proof read
Exhibition period:
Jun 1915
Organizing Bodies:
Carfax Gallery
Catalogue Entries: 43
Types of Work: painting and drawing: 42, other medium: 1
Artists: 1
Gender: female: 0, male: 1
Nationalities: 1
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Date Title City Venue Type
Paintings and Drawings by F. Marchand. 1915.
Nr. of pages: 7.
Holding Institution: Victoria & Albert National Art Library
Bell, Clive: [no title], p. 1-4

"“Of the younger French artists Marchand seems to me the most interesting. By “the younger” I mean those who, though they descend from Cézanne, have been influenced, directly or indirectly, by Matisse or Picasso or both. These form a just distinguishable group sandwiched between the quasi-impressionists – Bonnard, Manguin, Veuillard – and the Cubists. To be precise, it is of a battered sandwich that they are the core; the jam oozes through on either side. It always does. That is why scholars and historians have a hard time of it.
I dare say Marchand would deny that he had been influenced by anyone; for some strange reasons artists like to suppose that, unlike all other living things, they are unaffected by their environment. The matter is of no consequence, but with the best will in the world I should find it hard to believe that the “Femme couchée devant une paysage” (No. 5) would have been just what it is if Gaugin had never existed, or that the scheme of the beautiful Portrait de femme (No. 4) owes nothing to Picasso. And isn’t it pretty clear that Marchand would have painted in an altogether different style if Cézanne had never existed?
Believing, as I do, in the influences of one artist on another, I regard this exhibition as a piece of rare good fortune for British art. Marchand is eminent in just those qualities that we most lack. Above all things he is a painter. I am curious to hear what Mr. Sickert has got to say about his pictures; and I shall be disappointed if they do not wring from him what used to be the highest encomium on the lips of his old friend Degas – C’est de la Peinture!
No living painter is more purely concerned with the creation of from, with the emotion significance of shapes and colours, than Marchand. To him, evidently, the function of a painter is to paint; the discussion of such interesting matters as Love, Life, Death, and “The grand for ever”, he leaves to the literary gentlemen. He has nothing to say about Man’s place in the Universe, or even in Camden Town; it is in combinations of lines and colours that he deals, and, as you may see, he has already produced some of extraordinary subtlety and significance. Before such a picture as No. 7 or No. 12 the most inveterate psychologist, should he happen to possess a grain of sensibility, must be dumb; unless he murmur respectfully the name of Chardin.
Marchand is neither a doctrinaire nor a timid conservative. He is familiar with the work of Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, and the whole cubist school; and if by simplification, distortion, or what men of science would call “flat absurdity”, he can in any way improve his composition, he does not hesitate to simplify, distort, or fly in the face of facts. He wants to create significant form, and all means to that end the finds good. But he is no doctrinaire. He never distorts or makes his pictures look queer on principle. He cares nothing for being in the fashion, neither does he eschew a novel eccentricity lest the nicest people should say that he is going a little too far. His work is uncompromisingly sincere. He neither protests against tradition nor respects it. He is an artist.
I shall not be surprised to hear that some critics consider Marchand dry and intellectual. Certainly he is not lyrical or charming. No picture by him has the ravishing loveliness of a Renoir of the delicious handling of a Duncan Grant. I suspect he paints all his big things in the studio. He makes sketches; and I shall be glad to hear what anyone completely acquainted with the drawings of the old masters has to say about no. 39. But when he gets to work on his canvas I do not suppose that he thinks of anything beyond the complete realization of a definite and perfectly elaborate scheme. There are no happy accidents or lucky flukes in his paintings. It is as stark and solid as the work of Ingres or Mantegna. Some people call that sort of thing dry and intellectual; others call it masterly.
If English amateurs take kindly to these pictures they will do themselves great honour. They will prove that they can distinguish between the easy juxtaposition of pretty patches of colour and the profound and sensitive research of a true colourist; they will prove that they can distinguish between obvious relations and subtle harmonies; they will prove that they can recognize that quality which is common to works of art of all schools and ages, and that, when they see it, they like it. And those unlucky people who cannot, even in the presence of a work of art, forget for a moment all about politics and philanthropy, may like to remember that Marchand, too, has been unlucky. After great hardships he had just won his way to a position of some security when war broke out. He has lately been called up, not, I think, for active, but for some sort of military service. His pay, I believe, is one sou a day, and what happens to those who depend on him one does not care to imagine.
Marchand was born at Paris in 1883. His work is not unknown in England. Four of his pictures were shown at the Grafton Galleries in 1912; and not long ago I saw and exquisite little “still life” by him – NO. 12 in this Exhibition, unless I mistake – at the New English Art Club. I wonder how it got there.”
Catalogue Structure
"New Etchings by Walter Sickert", n.p.
[Preface], p. 1-4
"Catalogue", cat. no. 1-43, p. 5-7
Additional Information
Other Mediums listed
- The artist here referred to as F. Marchand is assumed to be the French painter Jean Hippolyte Marchand. This assumption is made on the basis of corresponding biographical facts, mentioned in the preface.

- "Prices can be obtained on application" [...] "On the purchase of works by living artists payment is due before delivery", p. 5

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Name Date of Birth Date of Death Nationality # of Cat. Entries
Jean Marchand 1882 1941 FR 42
Recommended Citation: "Paintings and Drawings by F. Marchand." In Database of Modern Exhibitions (DoME). European Paintings and Drawings 1905-1915. Last modified Jun 26, 2019. https://exhibitions.univie.ac.at/exhibition/1044