Charles Despiau

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Despiau, Charles


Born Nov. 4, 1874, in Mont-de-Marsan, Landes; died Oct. 28, 1946, in Paris. French sculptor.

Despiau studied in Paris from 1891 in the School of Decorative Arts and in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. From 1907 to 1914 he worked as Rodin’s assistant. Despiau is one of the outstanding masters of portrait sculpture in the 20th century. His works are noted for their keen sense of modernity, humanism and poetic imagery, and sensitive understanding of the models’ spiritual makup and individuality. While consistently striving for generalization, classical purity, wholeness of plastic form, and clear-cut structural relevance, Despiau never lost his careful approach to the model, creating images that are rich in psychological nuances and in which the fine modeling produces a play of light and shade (Girl From the Landes, marble, 1907, and Portrait of Agnes Meyer, bronze, 1929—both in the National Museum of Modern Art, Paris; portrait of L. Lievre, bronze, 1918, Museum of Fine Art, Algiers). Despiau created the war memorial in Mont-de-Marsan (1920-22) and a number of nudes (Assia, bronze, 1937, National Museum of Modern Art, Paris).


Roden i ego vremia: Katalog. Moscow [no date]. (Translated from French.)
George, W. Despiau vivant: L’homme et l’oeuvre. Paris, 1947.
Ch. Despiau. Published by W. George. Cologne, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Le parcours est coupe par une halte sculpture avec entre autres grand noms Auguste Rodin et Charles Despiau avant de continuer le parcours jusqu'a l'ecole du cubisme et les fameux croquis de Pablo Picasso.L'installation de ce nouveau parcours a ete motivee par la volonte de mettre a la disposition du public un parcours "didactique et chronologique, balise par une nouvelle signaletique".
In terms of the German presence Vichy France contained within it not only the dubious patronage of German culture which took Charles Despiau, Andre Dunoyer de Segonzac, Maurice de Vlaminck, Kies von Dongen, Andre Derain and others on a much publicized visit to the Nazi art displays in Munich and Hitler's Chancellery in Berlin, but also the surprising German acceptance of much of the avant-grade art of early Twentieth-Century France, including Braque, Matisse, Dufy, Rouault and Picasso.