Charles Clément Français Perron was born in Plessé, in the Loire-Atlantique. He commenced his art studies in Nantes, before moving to Paris and joining the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
His highly developed technical skills became his trademark, evident initially among his anatomical plates, used for teaching medical students. He continued to paint nudes and still life, the latter which he is probably best known for, combining his faultless technique with a soft muted palette. Whether his subject matter is the cottages of Brittany, a delicate still life or the nude female form, each of his paintings shows his complete mastery of shape and hue.
Gladwells have been championing Charles Perron’s charming paintings since the early 1930’s when Herbert Fuller first encountered Perron’s paintings on a visit to the Salon des Artistes Français for their Summer Exhibition in Paris. Herbert Fuller was so enchanted with the captivating depictions of rural French life, be they the intimate cottage scenes, the delicate still lifes or the beguiling nudes, that he travelled to meet Charles at his studio in Nantes. The two gentlemen hit it off and there began a rewarding lifelong friendship which has extended between the families through the generations.
Perron’s studio was an ethereal and joyful place, full of light and beauty, and it is through Charles’ faultless technique and highly developed technical skills that he was able to translate all of this onto his canvases. With pure lines, reminiscent of Raphael and Michelangelo, and with compositions which draw comparisons from Chardin, Charles’ paintings drew acclaim from his peers, his patrons and indeed from the French establishment who awarded him many honours. Perron exhibited widely and gained several awards, including gold at the 1928 Salon and silver at the 1937 Exposition Universelle in Paris.
He had a complete mastery of shape and of delicate hues, a wonderful sense of design and an expert command of his chosen medium. His paintings bring a sense of calm and joy to the viewer and their quality simply stands out.
“In 1987 I met Perron’s daughter at an auction in Brittany; Madame Perron took me back to her father’s studio where his palette lay on the floor beside the easel, exactly where he put it on the day he died nearly thirty years earlier.
This meeting renewed Gladwell’s relationship with the Perron family. I learnt that when the war began, the artist buried all of his paintings in his garden and moved to Brittany, where his subject matter expanded with the change of scenery. On the cessation of war Perron returned to his studio, dug up his pictures and resumed his career. The many accolades awarded him by the Art Institutes of France during his life confirm his status as one of the leading artists of his time.”
- Anthony Fuller