Victor Dupont (1873–1941), French painter and printmaker
Born in 1873 in Boulogne-sur-Mer (North of France), Victor Dupont studied drawing at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Boulogne-sur-Mer, then in Lille, under the tutelage of Pharaon de Winter. Around 1897, he relocated to Paris, spent time with Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, and received the counsel of Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne, who influenced Dupont’s use of color.
Guillaume Apollinaire was an early advocate of Dupont’s work. After moving into La Ruche (an artist’s residence in the 15th arrondissement), he exhibited in the Salon des Artistes Indépendents beginning in 1903, and in the Salon d’Automne in 1904, 1906, 1907, 1913, from 1919 to 1926, and finally from 1935 to 1941. He joined the “Fauves” for a time, with whom he mixed regularly.
The artist fought during World War I and this experience deeply marked him. After the war, Dupont’s imagery manifested a return to “traditional values,” with many pictures of familial or religious themes. Sympathetic towards nationalist trends and L’Action française (an influential right-wing anti-republican group), Dupont worked with alongside friends Paul Signac (1863–1935), Maurice Boudot-Lamotte (1878–1958) and Claude Emile Schuffenecker (1851–1934). In the 1920s and 30s, he became close with Maurice Denis (1870–1930) and the Ateliers d’Art Sacré. Established in Auxerre, the artist agreed to teach the artists Fernand Py and Henri Brochet. During this time he produced numerous religious works and devoted himself successfully to lithography. After two final exhibitions organized by the painter André Léveillé (1936–1937), Dupont died bankrupt in Paris in July 1941.
Dupont’s work may be found at the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris, at the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, at the Musée départemental de l’Oise in Beauvais, at the Château-Musée de Boulogne-sur-Mer, at the Musée de Saint-Quentin, and at the Maison de la Beurière in Boulogne-sur-Mer, as well as in numerous private collections in France and abroad.
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