Flower & Leaf (1940)
GEORGES-HENRI CARRÉ (1878-1945)
Watercolour on paper; signed lower right
In period frame
Born in Burgundy, Carré intended to train as an architect before succeeding in joining the atelier of Fernand Cormon (1845-1924), a prestigious painter and master to great artists including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) and Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). In 1906 Carré was admitted to the Société des Artistes Français, in whose Salon he obtained an honorary mention the following year, a demonstration of the high reputation he already enjoyed. He went on to participate regularly at the Salon until 1913.
Following service in the Great War and the death of his wife in 1917, he suffered a serious breakdown that greatly affected his work. Resettling in Paris after his recovery in the mid-20s, he embarked on a period of intense work, exhibiting at the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne, where he would exhibit regularly until his death. Carré had countless solo exhibitions and participated in group shows alongside such major painters as Paul Signac (1863-1935), Raoul Dufy (1877-1953) and André Lhote (1885-1962), among others.
In the summer of 1940, following a journey through Provence, his style underwent a notable change which led to a process of simplification of his painting that he would take to its extreme in the final months of his life. He died in Paris on Christmas Day 1945.