Ban EN Natures mortes
Vitalis-en-classe

VITALIS in an art class at Plestin-les-Grèves secondary school

Still lifes : a theme mastered by VITALIS

VITALIS’s artistic training was academic during his 7 American years (1918 to 1925 – at the San Francisco School of Fine Arts, then the Philadelphia School of Fine Arts). And to obtain it, he made great sacrifices: he followed it alone, as a young Filipino immigrant with no money, working at night at odd jobs (including that job as a lift operator in a San Francisco palace that he liked to tell). VITALIS’ creation of “still life” is naturally part of this culture, but not only: he particularly liked Paul CÉZANNE’s still life paintings of fruit (apples, oranges, etc.).

Bouquets of flowers …

Deux bouquets dans deux vases – hst – 1931

Still life with flowers – hst – 1937

Bouquet au pichet bleu – pastel – 1938

Vase d’anémones – hst – 1942

Bouquet of flowers – oil/canvas – 1980

Fleurs dans un vase – pastel – 1930

Nature morte – hst – 1936

Nature morte au bouquet de fleurs – aquarelle – 1939

Flower still life in the studio – hst – 1944

Demestiation not ou nature morte au vase bleu – hst – 1966

Bouquet de fleurs – hsc – 1979

a foray into the abstract

Abandoning his “Montmartre-Ecole de Paris” style, VITALIS turned to cubism in 1945, under the influence of Jacques VILLON, whom he met in Puteaux at Camille RENAULT’s “Big Boy” restaurant. Here are three still lifes, including an unusual “fried egg”…

Nature morte cubiste – hsp – 1946

Oeuf sur le plat – aquarelle – 1946

Nature morte cubiste – hsp – 1946

and other culinary themes !

VITALIS was greedy and gourmet. His red lobsters (cooked) are just waiting to be eaten with a twist of lemon and a good glass of wine. His “nature with a bottle” of 1940 recalls, in theme and composition, the famous still lifes of Paul CEZANNE.

Nature morte à la bouteille – hsp – 1940

Still life with lobster – hst – 1986

Still life with herrings – hst – 1945

Nature morte au homard – hst – 1986

Nature morte – hsp – 1986