A rare and early impressionist view of River Seine near Paris by El Salvador artist
Pedro Adolfo de Matheu Montalvo (1900-1965).
Pedro was born in the Salvadoran city of Santa Ana. In 1903, Pedro's father was appointed Consul General in France with residence in Paris and the family sailed for Europe, settling in the French capital. By 1915, the young Pedro lived immersed in the Parisian atmosphere of the belle-époque, meeting emblematic characters such as Marcel Proust. Against the wishes of his father, who wanted his son to become an architect, Pedro de Matheu dedicated his life to painting. He became the assistant and student of the Paris-based Catalan painter Claudio Castelucho (1897-1928) and studied with Jean Paul Laurens (1838-1921) at the Academie Julien.
Already at this early date, Pedro leant towards post-impressionist plein air landscape painting, but was also influenced by the Nabis and Fauves. He was close to
the Russian painter Alexander Altmann, with whom he would spend time between 1915 and 1917 at Saint Jean de Luz, Clamart and in the Basque Country. In 1918 Pedro held his first solo exhibition at the Hotel Ruhl in Nice, presented by the Guatemalan writer Gómez Carrillo, a renowned journalist and chronicler. In 1919, Pedro was accepted at the Exposition Nationale du Grand Palais , and a year later at the Exposition Nationale de Beaux Arts and the Salon d'Automne, where he obtained an honorable mention and wide recognition from critics such as Thiebault, André Salmon and Louis Vauxcelle.
Cultivating a wide spectrum of friendships, he became a member of the Academie Artistique et Litteraire, and frequented the Maison de l'Amerique Latine à Paris, where he would exhibit individually in 1923.
In 1921 Pedro held his first important solo exhibition at the mythical George Petit Gallery (where Monet, Rodin and Sisley had exhibited), being introduced in the catalogue by the writer Francis de Miomandre. What is exciting is that our painting was shown and purchased in this very exhibition!
Matheu also showed his work at the Salon de la Societé National de Beaux Arts and at the Manuel Frères gallery. He was invited to the Salon des Tuilleries, held a further exhibition at the George Petit Gallery, exhibited in Evansville (Indiana) and at the Galerie des Artistes Françaises in Brussels, as well as at the Ibero -American Exhibition in Seville in the 1920s.
Friends with the symbolist painter Alfred Kubin and with Picasso, Pedro established relationships with prominent representatives of the aristocracy, such as the poetess and patron Comtesse de Noailles, the collector Galouste Gulbenkian and the or the Bernheim and Rodríguez families.
In 1933, Pedro de Matheu definitively took up a private studio in Paris, at 7 Rue de Antoine Chantin, which he would maintain until the 1950s. He would subsequently settle in Spain.
(Source: “Pedro de Matheu” publication of the Florencio de la Fuente Foundation (2000), with texts by Juan Fernández Lacomba)
It is presented in its original frame, with the original Georges Petit Gallery 1921 exhibition label attached. The painting is signed at the lower right. Its size excluding the wood carved and gilded frame is 54 x 65 cm.
Please fill in the information below