Charles Maurin Biography

Charles Maurin




Charles Maurin was born in Le Puy-en-Velay, France on April 1, 1856. Following early training in Le Puy he was awarded the Prix Crozatier in 1875, and used the funds to go to Paris to study art at the Eccole des Beaux-Arts wih Jules Lefebvre and Gustave Boulanger from 1876 to 1879. He also studied at the Académie Julian with Rodolphe Julian, where he eventually taught. He exhibited at the Salon of French artists and became a member of the Society of French Artists in 1883. He was a teacher and friend of the painter Félix Vallotton. Deeply anti-clerical, he was a great admirer of Jules Valles, Kropotkin, Louis Michel and Flora Tristan.

Maurin received the support of dealer-publishers Ambrose Vollard and Edmond Sagot and became a close friend of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, with whom had his first individual exhibition in 1893 at  Galerie Boussos ed Valadon. His circle of friend included many artists including Degas, Seurat and the entertainer Aristide Brouant. A notable Symbolist work of his, titled Maternity, a study of motherhood. Inspired by Japanese artists, he revolutionized the technique of etching, but without forgetting the woodcuts. In 1891 he patented a method of color printing. In 1892, he exhibited at the Salon de la Rose-Croix. He contributed to the magazine La Revue Blanche and Les Temps nouveaux, published by Jena Grave. He explored relationships between literature and the visual arts, especially Symbolist writing, throughout his career.

After 1900 Maurin’s output declined considerably, partly due to ill health, and the last years of his life were spent in Brittany and Provence, where he died in obscurity in 1914. His work was largely forgotten after his death, although a retrospective exhibition was held at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris in 1921, while a monograph on his work by Ulysse Rouchon was published the following year. Although a significant collection of Maurin’s work is today in the collection of the Musée Crozatier in Le Puy-en-Velay, his paintings and drawings remain little represented in museums outside France.

Charles Maurin died on 22 July 1914 in Grasse, France.