André Barbier was born in Arras, France on 24th January 1883 into a family of lawyers.
At the age of twenty, Barbier left Arras and settled in Paris at the Quai aux fleurs, and in the same year, 1903, he exhibited four paintings at the nineteenth Salon des Independants.
As with so many painters of his day, he adopted on itinerant lifestyle, travelling between Paris, the outskirts of Paris, the Normandy coast and the Riviera, to say nothing of his trips abroad, especially to Italy.
Following his illustrious elders, Courbet, Corot and Monet, he went to Etretat to paint La Manneport and L'Aiguille. The white cliffs, the pebble beaches and the sea with it changing tones captivated him.
In 1916 a major event took place in Barbier's life when he met Claude Monet and sent him gifts of fruit, flowers and one of his paintings. Monet responded with a gift of three pastels, and a friendship was born which was to last until Monet's death in 1926.
Due to his wealth, much of Barbier's work has remained with his family, but today his paintings are collected extensively in America and Europe and have recently been bought by members of the Monaco & Belgian royal families.
André Barbier exhibited in the Salon des Independants from 1903 to 1914 and finally between 1967 and his death. From 1924 he exhibited at the Salon des Tuileries. In 1926 he exhibited at the Retrospective at the Société des Indépendants and in 1937 at the Exposition Internationale.
“Barbier uses his own distinctive style to outline, in a blue-purple flickering, some vague forms buried in a very delicate light in a skilful and discreet monochrome shade.”
Translated from “Les petits Maîtres de la Peintures, Valeur de demain” by Gérard Schurr. Published by Les Editions de l’Amateur. Volume II, p. 131
“... Talented as your are, with this exceptional perception you have of surfaces and backgrounds, with that so lightly steam of air that you can capture on your canvas, it is not possible that you do not appear as one of your generation’s true artists...... Build of mist and light, a world of poetry.”
Extract from a letter from Gustave Geffroy (reknown art critic at the end of the 19th century)