“Robert Chailloux was a remarkable artist and a good friend. I visited Chailloux in Paris and then subsequently at his home in the countryside for over 40 years. During that time it was an honour to know such a fascinating and talented character. Born in Pairs in 1913, Monsieur Chailloux’s artistic talent was cultivated in the Ecole Speciale de Dessin d’ Boulevard Belleville, Paris, then Ecole des Arts Decoratifs after he showed talent for drawing at school. Chailloux always wanted to be an artist and quickly went on to setup his own studio.
Chailloux delighted in collecting French provincial pottery and his studio was filled with the finest examples. This provided limitless opportunities for their use in his compositions. He labeled each vase or pot meticulously and stored them all in an extremely large cabinet beside his easel. The charmingly rustic fruits captured within his paintings and his beautiful floral subjects were often taken directly from his gardens or carefully selected from the local market. This fine artist always captured the essence of nature and followed the seasons diligently. The resultant works of art, I personally have enjoyed and shared with many of my clients over the years. One delights in his fresh compositions which display a poetic softness, blending muted colours with bursts of intense pigment. He strived to create truth to nature and artistic perfection on his canvases, leaving a lasting legacy we all continue to enjoy.
In 1940, Chailloux became a member of the Salon des Artistes Français, and began exhibiting regularly. The recognition his work received, allowed him the opportunity to enter the Salon de la Nationale exposition of 1943. In 1945, he exhibited at the Salon de Independence and became a member of the Salon de la Marine. Here he was invited to show his collection of nautical still life’s and marine compositions from the early part of his career.
I had great pleasure over the years of enjoying Chailloux’s collection of ship models each one lovingly handmade. Chailloux took three to four years to complete each one and his attention to detail was painstakingly illustrated one day, when he advised me that he was having a problem drilling a hole in a pin to attach a stern rail.
He painted some wonderful pastel and gouache en plein air studies of numerous French fishing ports in his early life, but he would never part with them and enjoyed the memories they bought back. His studio was an Aladdin’s cave of treasures, priceless for the passion and history of each object – from a piece of lace to a doll made by his wife, they were all captured on canvas at one point or another in his pictures. He gave to my daughter a joyous painting of one of these dolls which now hangs in her nursery. Every time we both look at it we smile. Chailloux was truly one of the nicest people I have had the great pleasure of knowing. Every visit to his studio was a treasured encounter.
As a family, he has touched all three generations of the Fuller’s and we all consider ourselves very fortunate to have known him and been custodians of his work over such a long period of time. I will never forget his hidden stash of whisky pulled up from a hole in the lawn which we shared on my visits.”