Jean Jacques Joachim Rigal Biography

Jean Jacques Joachim Rigal




Jacques Joachim Jean Rigal was born in Paris on July 29, 1926. The following year his family moved to Fontenay-aux-Roses, about twenty meters from the birthplace of Pierre Bonnard. His father was the engraver Edmond Rigal (1902-1996) who taught intaglio and book arts. 

Rigal was a child prodigy. He began to draw at the age of four and at age eight he was encouraged to persue this interest by artists Jacques Schiffrin, André Malraux and Jean Cassou. From the age of ten, he exhibited at the Salon d'Automne. In 1942,  Rigal, then thirteen years old, moved with his family to Fontainbleau, where his father taught printmaking. In 1950, he began doing color etchings and illustrated many books for bibliophiles, especially texts by Béalu, Bigeault, Cassou, Dhôtel, Flaubert, Grosjean, Suares. He was associated with a number of Parisian artists, including Alexeïeff, Bonnard, Goerg and Villon. In 1954, he was awarded the National Prize of Engraving.

As a printmaker, J.J.J. Rigal often composed suites of prints on  thematic topics as diverse as Paris, trees, flowers, fruits, insects and the sea. In 1960 Rigal was appointed a member of the Society of Painters Engravers French and, in 1963, he was awarded the Prix de l'Ile-de-France Engraving and he became a member of the International Committee of the illustrated book and the National Committee of Engraving. In 1970, he produced an album on the capitals of the Common Market and London. Rigal’s oeuvre includes prints, paintings, watercolors, monotypes, small bronzes, washes and many drawings.

J.J.J. Rigal died on February 24, 1997, on the same street he grew up on in Fontenay-aux-Roses.