Georges de Feure
- Georges de Feure
- visage de femme sur fond de vegetation luxuriante et d'oiseaux fantastiques
- signed with monogram and signed DE FEURE lower right
- gouache on paper laid onto canvas
- 100 by 81cm., 39¼ by 32in.
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Like Alphonse Mucha, de Feure made poster designs, book illustrations and graphic work for journals and magazines which played an important part in the development of the Art Nouveau style.
De Feure started out as an actor, costumier and then interior decorator in Paris. His creative versatility knew no bounds, and during the course of his life he tried his hand at furniture, carpet, ceramics, porcelain, glassware, tapestry, textile and aviation design. In addition, de Feure worked as a fashion designer, architect, novelist and as a test pilot for his own aviation construction company. A close collaborator with Siegfried Bing, the great champion of the Art Nouveau style and owner of gallery Bing, by the turn of the century de Feure had become one of the best known and best paid designers of his generation.
De Feure counted among his friends Ravel and Debussy, and exhibited with the artistic avant-garde of his time. He collaborated with Gaillard and Colonna on the decoration of the Art Nouveau pavilion at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. As a painter and watercolourist he exhibited at the Chat Noir, Le Barc de Boutteville (1892), the Salon de la Rose + Croix (1893 & 1894), Le Salon des Cent, at Galerie Georges Petit and the Galerie des Artistes Modernes (1894) and from 1894 onwards at the exhibitions of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
The son of a Dutch architect and a Belgian mother, De Feure was brought up in Paris, where his father had become very successful building houses for the aristocracy and the nouveau riches. However, the start of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 forced the family to flee to the Netherlands, where their financial situation became so precarious that their belongings were auctioned off on the street, and they were reduced to leading an itinerant life, moving constantly between Belgium and the Netherlands, until his fathers ultimate financial ruin. Returning to Paris in 1889, the year of the inauguration of the Eiffel tower, de Feure settled in Montmartre, where he set to work building a reputation as a creator of elegant and sensuous images that formed and informed the taste of the period.
Fig. 1: a photograph of Georges de Feure commandeering the DFD 2 at Chambry in June 1910. During the summer of 1910, de Feure made test flights in the plane which he had designed for his newly founded aviation construction company