For the first time in forty years, a retrospective does justice to an artist who, after having been the darling of All Paris, has fallen into relative oblivion.
Christian Bérard (1902-1949), painter, theater decorator and costume designer, fashion designer, interior decorator, in a word versatile and gifted artist.
He leads a bohemian and social life together. The relative oblivion into which he fell after his death contrasts sharply with the dazzling success he achieved during his lifetime. “Baby” Bérard (as he is nicknamed) puts his talent at the service of Roland Petit and Jean Cocteau as well as Jean-Louis Barrault and Louis Jouvet, Vogue magazine as well as Harper’s Bazaar. Arbiter of taste, he also advises Christian Dior who was his friend; Robert Piguet than Elsa Schiaparelli and became the scenographer of the Théâtre de la mode (1945). His successes in illustration and decoration (for the Noailles, the Polignacs) led him to somewhat neglect the easel painting for which the Ranson Academy had prepared him (under the direction of Édouard Vuillard and Maurice Dennis).
Various promising exhibitions associate him with the “neo-humanist” group (name due to the critic Waldemar-George) with the brothers Berman and Pavel Tchelitchew. But it is not long in taking its independence.
His paintings, especially his portraits, are hailed by critics. In Vu (July 1932), Jean Gallotti wrote about him: “One could not imagine an art more profoundly human, and better suited to reassure us about the destinies of painting. And Paul Fierens in Formes (May 1932): “The work of Christian Bérard teaches us more exactly than any other about the vices and virtues, the fears and hopes of a generation, a society, even an elite.”