Les Crevettes by Robert Chailloux
Oil on Canvas
38 cms x 46 cms / 15" x 18"
I fondly remember my numerous visits to the wonderful artist who was Robert Chailloux. I used to get the early flight from Gatwick to Charles de Gaulle, a commuter train into central Gare du Nord and then the suburban train out to the other side of Paris to the sleepy rural house that Monsieur and Madame Chailloux had made their home for their entire married life.
I was always greeted so warmly, as though a member of the family. I recall the assault on the senses as you walked in of freshly brewed coffee - the strong black variety that the French are so fond of with their Galloises, and of freshly baked bread that Madame Chailloux rose early to bake every morning, although I’m sure she made it just for me.
Then would begin the wonderful theatre that was Monsieur Chailloux and my way of communicating. Robert spoke no English and my French was about
on a par with that, and so we communicated by speaking loudly and slowly and using sign language and by drawing things. It must have been thoroughly entertaining to watch but we managed to have a terrific friendship for many decades.
Robert was so adept at recreating the beautiful rustic French scenes that were part of everyday life in rural France. The abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables and bread, that the French are in a league of their own at producing which would come from the surrounding farms and farmers markets They were so proud of the food that we sat down to eat on each visit - it was always delicious, vibrant and succulent. It’s journey from soil or tree to table was so short that it couldn’t fail to be!
The delicate nature of Robert’s paintings is exquisite. He managed not only to capture a simple still life on canvas but to capture the life and vibrancy of rural France - the beating heart of this passionate nation.
– Anthony Fuller