by Anthony Fuller
My father dealt direct with Perron way before I came into the business. I accidently came across his daughter Charlotte Perron at an auction in Bretagny when she had gone to bid for her father’s work. She approached me and we ended up in her father’s studio in Nantes that evening.
She showed me where his palette lay on the floor where he had put it down the evening he died and it had remained ever since. She also told me stories of his life. This included when the Germans occupied France and her father buried his paintings in the garden. He had moved to a cottage in Bretagne until the end of the war. This was where he introduced the internal and external images of his cottage subjects. Previously to this he had specialised in still life drawing and the occasional female nude. I want to share a little tale behind the nudes. Perron lived next door to a hospital and some of the nurses were quite happy to add to their low nursing wages by posing for him as long as they could not be recognised! They insisted that he always depicted them with their faces turned away from the artist. When ever I returned to Nantes Madam Perron would sell me whatever I selected from her father’s collection and I continued as we do today to acquire his work from all over France.
Eventually Madam Perron sold the family home and moved into an old peoples’ home where I met her on a couple of occasions. After acquiring yet more pieces of her father’s work we had lunch.
On the second occasion the Chef actually remembered what wine I had ordered on my first visit. This has remained in my memory ever since that Chef had such impressive recall of such trivial information.