French painter born at Eymoutiers (Haute-Vienne). Grew up in the countryside; was fond of hunting and fishing. To school in Limoges, painting and learning to decorate ceramics in his spare time. Moved in 1944 to Paris, where he studied at the Grande Chaumière; received advice from Lorjou and was also influenced by Picasso, van Gogh and Soutine. Lived and worked amid the slaughter-houses of Vaugirard, which provided some of his subject-matter. Painted scenes of domestic and rural life, often on a large scale, in earthy pigments and with a caricature-like treatment of faces and bodies. After the reopening of the Louvre in 1947, was somewhat influenced by Courbet. Awarded the Prix de la Jeune Peinture 1950, the Prix Feneon 1951, and was considered the leader of the young French artists of realist tendency. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Drouant-David, Paris, 1951. Began in 1956-7 to develop a looser, more Baroque and more abstract style. In the 1960s the colours and splashed and swirling paint tended to become more important than the subject, which was often barely legible. Many of his later pictures include feathers, sand, newspapers and other collage materials. Lives in Paris.
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.622