Artist biography

Jean Frélaut 1879-1954

French painter and etcher of Breton scenes and also, occasionally, of traditional religious subjects. Born at Grenoble of Breton parents, the son of a general; his family moved in 1889 to Vannes (Morbihan). Studied for a few months at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, then for five years under Cormon at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Frequented the Louvre, being particularly attracted by the works of Millet. Began engraving in 1903-4, with encouragement and instruction from Marcel Beltrand and D.S. MacLaughlan. In Holland in 1905 was influenced by Breughel. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Barbazanges, Paris, 1912. Made over 1500 prints and late in life won a considerable reputation with his illustrated books, which included J. Guibert's Le Pélerin des Sept Saintes de Bretagne (1938) and - made with the help and on the advice of Segonzac - the Fables de La Fontaine (1941). Continued all the time to paint, but his paintings are comparatively little known. Died in Vannes.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.226