Born in Paris, André Hambourg (1909-1999) initially studied sculpture under Paul Niclausse before entering the studio of Lucien Simon at the École des Beaux-Arts. In the midst of his studies, aged just nineteen, Hambourg had his debut solo exhibition at the Galerie Taureau in Paris in 1928, which was met with great acclaim. This early recognition of Hambourg’s talent ensured a membership at the Salon des Indépendants, which by now was setting the trend for twentieth-century art along with Salon d’Automne.
In 1933 he received the Prix de la Villa Abd-el-Tif and spent almost ten years in North Africa where he was struck by the immense power of light and its relationship to movement and colour. During his time away, Hambourg continued to exhibit in Algeria, Oran and Paris. In 1939 Hambourg became a military reporter and draughtsman and went on to become a war correspondent in 1944, for which he was awarded the Croix de Guerre. Hambourg resumed his painting career in 1946 and became the official painter to the navy, which provided an opportunity to travel to almost every corner of the world. Throughout his travels Hambourg created numerous drawings and studies, accumulating sketchbooks which would later become the inspirations for his vivid canvases.
Hambourg is best known for his romantic compositions of Venice, luminous seascapes and charming beach scenes, painted with an expressive impressionistic brush and expressive colouring. Hambourg’s dramatic marine seascapes and delightful beach scenes offer a spontaneous interpretation through the rapid application of expressive colours. Vast areas of sky often dominate his compositions and his canvases are imbued with a feeling of endless space and time. Hambourg’s paintings can be found in numerous museums in France and further afield, including Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, Eugène Boudin Museum in Honfleur and the European Courts of Justice in Luxembourg.