Artist biography

Simon Bussy 1870-1954

French painter, mainly in pastel, of portraits, landscapes and animals. Born in Dôle (Jura), of peasant stock. Won a local scholarship to study art, went to Paris in 1886 and entered the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs. In 1890 moved to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where he studied under E. Delaunay, then under Gustave Moreau; his fellow-pupils Matisse and Rouault became his life-long friends. Admired Degas, Whistler and Japanese prints. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1897. Married Dorothea Strachey in 1903 and afterwards lived in Roquebrune in the South of France, spending the summers in England and Scotland. Made portraits of members of the Bloomsbury circle, Paul Valéry, André Gide and others, but eventually turned almost entirely to landscapes and, above all, small highly-patterned studies of birds, animals and fishes, for which he made many sketches in the London Zoo. Died in London.

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, pp.89-90