Artist biography

Pierre Roy 1880-1950

French painter, illustrator and designer. His paintings contain mysterious juxtapositions of objects, often inspired by memories of his childhood. Born at Nantes. Moved to Paris, and studied at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs under Grasset 1900-3 and the Académie Julian under J.-P. Laurens 1904-8. In contact with the Fauves 1908-14, and with Apollinaire, Max Jacob and Andre Salmon. Painted his first characteristic works about 1919. Friendship with de Chirico, who introduced him to Breton, Aragon, Ernst and the other Surrealists; his work was included in the first group exhibition of Surrealist painting at the Galerie Pierre in 1925 and in several of their other group shows. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Pierre, Paris, 1928. Designed sets for the theatre and ballet, including Le Lion Amoureux for Covent Garden and Jeux de Cartes for the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées; also made woodcut and lithograph illustrations for several books, including Les Contes (1946) by Jules Supervielle. Died while on a visit to Milan.

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.667