(1926 - 2005)

Paul Rebeyrolle unintentionally shared the fate of four figurative painters who in Paris in the 1950s, after this had been done by Francis Gruber, Bernard Buffet, Roger-Edgar Gillet, Jean Jansem and Zoran Mušič offered a reflection in painting on human nature. Bernard Dufour (1922-2016), Leonardo Cremonini (1925-2010), Dado (1933-2010) and Jean Rustin (1928-2013) renewed the problem area of human destiny after the first barbarisms of the 20th century, irrespective of the directions in which this would later develop. Between 1955 and 1975, each of them contributed to themes in testing out the human figure. Paul Rebeyrolle arrived in Paris in 1944, and lived in the La Ruche building, studying at the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere. He was fascinated by the painting of Picasso and Chaim Soutine, who died in 1943, Paris still doing honour to him. Paul Rebeyrolle formed his canvases by integrating objects into them, like chairs, railings, trees; after a short contact with Socialist Realism to which he had been prompted by joining the Communist Party, which he left in 1956. In 1970 Jean-Paul Sartre wrote about Paul Rebeyrolle: “In 1956 he left the party for obvious reasons; he did not leave by the right but by the left door.” Rebeyrolle came closer to Louis-Ferdinand Céline in the depiction of the body, as Céline had done in Journey to the End of he Night (1932) describing a young woman dying of haemorrhaging on a white bed and would not be saved. Rebeyrolle drew out onto the surface the body of the material, with an impasto application of colour, exploring the organic, to which he sometimes gave a fluid, putrid appearance. He was fascinated by history, everyday news, realism in the manner of Gustave Courbet and the freedom to which he aspired and which he advocated for in painting, renouncing in the titles of his series, all forms of human enslavement. In the series Monetarism the works of Paul Rebeyrolle bring out the evils in society. He did several series of paintings against political power, war, religion and science, but in this series he spoke of the society of the market. Hot Money is almost intolerable to look at, just as power and money are unbearable to the artist. The naked man shown reaches into a box looking like a coffin with skulls of people similar to himself (the artist?), who were killed with hot money. This is a bitter theme, and equally bitter are the materials that the painter uses: oil, earth, straw and horsehair.

Paul Rebeyrolle à la Fondation Maeght
Paul Rebeyrolle à la Fondation Maeght, 2000

La Fondation Maeght conserve dans ses collections deux peintures et des lithographies.