Casimir Reymond undated.
Oil on jute | 45 x 34 cm
CR-200 Inventory | Casimir Reymond Foundation
Photo: François De Grandi
Although undated, this self-portrait shows a young Casimir, in full existential questioning, concerned about what he wants to become. He was undoubtedly still a student at the Geneva School of Fine Arts, but already in preparation for his great exhibition of 1913 at the Grenette in Lausanne, where, at the age of just twenty, he revealed to the public more than one hundred and eighty works, meeting with success and recognition from the critics of the time.
Classical framing, on the other hand, reveals a face that is not three-quarters but almost completely frontal: this position flattens the respective volumes of the features. Casimir vigorously takes up this challenge by applying what he has retained, notably by his master Eugène Gilliard, from the example of Ferdinand Hodler, namely, the precise and almost architectural construction of any figure, successive shots in continuous superimposition from the first (the tip of the nose) to the last (the edges of the ears, neck, shoulders), going from sharp to blurred in the manner of a depth of field in photography, thus imposing the strength of his gaze filled with a restless passion.
One can feel an oil technique well learned in terms of colouring, but not yet personal in the touch.
"The genre of portraiture, as approached by Casimir Reymond, did not escape the hodlerization in vogue in the 1910s. Apart from the similarities in the rather narrow framing of the face, it frequently adopts the greenish tones systematized by Hodler in this type of representation. He readily associates them with brighter colours, sometimes in violent contrast to each other, in order to mark shadows or hollows more deeply."
Philippe Clerc, Exhibition catalogue p. 164
"He entered the Ecole Normale at the instigation of his mother, who wanted to make him a teacher in order to give him job security, he left her after a year to attend the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Genève, from 1909 to 1913. There he was fortunate enough to benefit from the lessons of "Father Gilliard", open to avant-garde art, who introduced his students to the work of Van Gogh, Gauguin and above all Cézanne [...]".
Edith Carey, Calatogue of the exhibition p. 23
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