Henry Simon (1910-1987), Peintre du mouvement dans la lumière (*)
Association Les Amis d'Henry Simon - Association Loi 1901
The association Les Amis d’Henry Simon welcomes you on its website dedicated to Henry Simon (1910-1987), talented painter, great artist, whose abundant works (paintings, drawings, ceramics) reflect his generous soul.
The website is in French but pictures make it easy to visit even if you don't speak the language.
The non-profit association (law of 1901) was created in 1990, three years after Henry Simon's death.
Ongoing inventory of his works
To set up exhibitions, support initiatives related to the artist
To publish documents (books, leaflets, video-films) about his life and work
To protect his legacy
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Henry Simon was born on
At a very early age, he showed a real gift for drawing, and received support at school where he learned classical drawing.
In 1928, he was admitted as a student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in
In 1930, he was awarded the prix Decré, presented every year to a young artist.
In 1932, he was admitted to the Ecole nationale des Beaux-Arts in
Back in Vendée in 1934, he dedicated himself to painting. He met the painter Jean Launois and became a member of a group of painters known as the Groupe de Saint-Jean-de-Monts.
“My vision as a painter was born from my country; I only have to look inside to celebrate its beauty.” H.S.
“I was very lucky to be part of the generation following in the footsteps of Charles Milcendeau.” H.S.
In 1939, he was mobilised. Taken prisoner in 1940, he was sent to stalag
IB in eastern
“At the time, I was overwhelmed by all there was to convey. There was no pretending then, only the naked self; for a painter, that was a tremendous, a huge lesson.” H. S.
When he came back to
In 1945 he resumed the pre-war rhythm of his paintings exhibitions.
In 1950, he married Monique Porteau with whom he had eight children:
Jean-Luc, Dominique, Anne, Elisabeth, Pascal, Frédérique, Véronique and
Olivier. That same year, he went to
“I went to
From 1950 to 1960, Henry Simon worked on decorating public buildings: a fresco in the city casino of Les Sables-d'Olonne, paintings for the casino La Pastourelle in Saint-Jean-de-Monts.
From 1960, his work was centered on a chosen theme: Local scenes, Fishermen, Youth, Circus, Dance, Games, Music, Water, Picnics, Faith, Portraits — treated with charcoal, pastel, water-colour, gouache, oil.
Henry Simon said about his love of water as a theme: “I realised how important water is for pictorial purposes. Water is an always changing plastic element which allows a thousand different visions in a very short time.” H.S.
In 1968, his paintings were presented to the Peintres témoins de leur temps exhibition. One of them, titled My Eighth Children, showing his family, offers a very colourful and poised composition, and received great acclaim.
A first Rétrospective Henry Simon was set up in 1971 at the city museum in Les Sables-d'Olonne.
In 1976, he was promoted Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
In 1978, he received the Charles Milcendeau award, and that same year, a second Rétrospective was set up at the Palais des Congrès in Saint-Jean-de-Monts.
Henry Simon died on
Biography by Gaston Herbreteau.