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Clovis Trouille (1889 - 1975)

Related: erotic art - French art

Example of work: Religieuse Italienne Fumant la Cigarette (1944) - Clovis Trouille
via http://www.artnet.com/magazine/news/artnetnews2/artnetnews4-18-4.asp [Jan 2005]


Born Camille Clovis Trouille, 24 October 1889, in France. Died 1975.

A Sunday painter who worked as a restorer and decorator of department store mannequins.

Trained at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts, Amiens, 1905-1910.

His service in World War I gave him a lifelong hatred of the military, expressed in his first major painting Remberence (1931). The painting depicts a pair of wraith-like soldiers clutching white rabbits, an airborne female contortionist throwing a handful of medals, and the whole scene being blessed by a cross-dressing cardinal.

This violent contempt for the church as a corrupt institution provided Trouille with the inspiration for decades of pictorial blasphemies - 1944's Dialogue at the Carmel shows a skull wearing a crown of thorns being used as an ornament.

Trouille's other common subjects were: sex - Lust (1959), a portrait of the Marquis de Sade sitting in the foreground of a landscape decorated with a tableau of various perversions; and a madly egoistic bravado employed as self-satire.

The Mummy shows a mummified woman coming to life as a result of a shaft of light falling on a large bust of Trouille. The Magician (1944) has a self-portrait satisfying a group of swooning women with a wave of his magician's wand. My Tomb (1947) shows Trouille's tomb as a focal point of corruption and depravity in a graveyard.

After his work was seen by Louis Aragon and Salvador Dalí, Trouille was declared a surrealist by André Breton - a label that Trouille (like many artists) accepted only as a way of gaining exposure, not having any real sympathy with the Surrealism movement.

The simple style and lurid colouring of Trouille's paintings echo the lithographic posters used in advertising in the first half of the 20th Century.

His portrait of a reclining nude shown from behind entitled "Oh Calcutta, Calcutta!" - a pun in French - was chosen as the title for the 1969 musical revue. (The French phrase "oh quel cul t'as" translates roughly as "oh what a lovely arse you have".) --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis_Trouille [Jan 2005]

Parcours à travers l'œuvre de Clovis Trouille, 1889-1975 - Clovis Prévost

Parcours à travers l'œuvre de Clovis Trouille, 1889-1975 - Clovis Prévost [FR] [DE] [UK]

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