Jean-Pierre BESENVAL


Since my first trips in Italy, I have always been deeply touched by the rare atmosphere emanating from the works of art of the Italian Renaissance discovered during my visits. I couldn’t say if the tuscan landscapes helped me to discover the pictorial work of art, or if, on the contrary, the paintings opened my eyes on the magic of this country. But what I am sure of is that I have been greatly moved by these lands and that I often go back there to learn this language with an eye to have a better understanding of this spirit. The paintings, the frescos, the altarpieces and the polychrome sculptures impressed me so much so that I wanted to carry on an activity close to these works. Indeed, it was at that moment that I chose to turn myself towards a work marked by the spirit of Cinquecento. Then, I discovered the Flemish painting from the XVth century, in which I found some emotions of Italian painting.

La boutiqueVery quickly my interest went towards painting on a support with volume. Working in three dimensions gives the possibility to introduce additional perspectives than those used with plane surfaces. I also wanted to transform the objects that surround us in order to give to our daily framework this so specific atmosphere. Thus, I stepwise associated one furniture to each pictorial ensemble. The supports allured me: ancient woods of various qualities depending on the species, which have sometimes a rather complex story, we could say a life, mortars with so various qualities depending on how they were made, and evolving in time. Meetings between the materials which support a great number of combinations and as many expressions.

In Paris, in the district of le Marais where I grew up, I had the luck to meet George Guillot, a master of painting on wood, well-known of the specialists. He agreed to teach me his art for a few years and gave me above all a strong motivation to continue my research on the old techniques. After his death, it is in the workshops of Tuscany that I could continue to improve my technical knowledge and to enrich me with new styles.

The spirit of working in a workshop, like the artists of the Renaissance, at the same time warm and friendly, seems to me very favorable to a creative environment and is essential to find again the pleasure of the specific atmosphere of this period. This is why for two years I have chosen to share my research and my creations with Luigi Madéo who brings to the workshop sensitivity, culture, and the background of a painter. I wish that this website reflect the most accurately the spirit of what I summarized in these lines.

Jean-Pierre BESENVAL