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Claude CAMBOUR

Mr and Mrs Cambour in the artist studio of Giverny

Claude CAMBOUR

Mischievous eyes protected by eyeglasses underneath a flat-edged felt hat, the painter walks in the gardens of Giverny, looking for inspiration.

Suddenly, amazed by the beauty of the flowers and the house in the background, he sets up his easel.

For several hours, he remains there, to capture the light and transform this spotless cloth into an admirable picture.

If Monet had met him along the path, he would have recognized him as a colleague. Claude Cambour is a self-taught impressionist and proud of the fact. Not because he neglects the fine arts but simply because he has been able to achieve the level he dreamt of as child.

One can imagine little Claude, whose grandfather was employed in the gardening staff of Maurice de Vlaminck, dreaming. "It was a pleasure to encounter this character. I admired the quality of his work and was intrigued by this man who spent all day painting".

Sometime later, in the street close to the family residence, he became friends with another amateur and completely unknown painter. These two men had something in common, they loved art. Quickly, Claude Cambour felt the need to paint and after returning from the military, he stayed in Paris where he led a life filled with artistic activities. "Up to 1982, I was a Sunday painter in the Compiègne forest", says the artist, who has kept a sense of modesty despite his international fame.

To improve his artistic outlook, Cambour took painting classes on live models at the workshop of the Union des Arts Plastiques de la Ville de Saint-Denis (Union of Plastic Arts of the City of Saint-Denis). He had his first exhibitions here. As his passion grew, Claude Cambour began to abandon his profession to dedicate more and more time to his love. He read many art books and biographies. He visited museums and exhibitions.

"To teach myself, I surrounded myself with the late and great masters. I looked at nature, light and anything that I considered beautiful. I studied the works of my teachers and I applied their techniques".

Monet, Renoir, Sisley, and Pissaro became his "teachers".

The student soon mastered the mystery of light and color, making his paintings more and more fascinating and realistic.

In Normandy, surrounded by the landscape that Monet loved, Claude Cambour seemed to be most inspired. This is why in 1985 he decided to live definitively in Giverny. There he continues working and developing his own style, characterized by light and colors which are more than realistic. Claude Cambour is an ardent impressionist.

This is clearly seen in his workshop in Giverny. His loyalty to impressionist art and perfect mastery of composition has made Cambour successful all over the world. On the ground floor of his house, paintings can be viewed by visitors who can only marvel at the talent of their contemporary. One floor up, the workshop is set up so that the artist can express himself freely. The flowered alleys of the garden, the red poppies after the rain, the series of miniature woods and the reflections on the water of the Norman ponds are subjects in different formats. All of this helps to understand Claude Cambour's talent, whose reputation is not overrated.

This reputation is due to a meeting which would push him to his success. This meeting took place in Paris. Claude Cambour was exhibiting at the Grand-Palais when a friend challenged him to go and "sell" himself to one of the large galleries on the Avenue de Matignon. The Giverny painter took on the challenge and went to the gallery Wally Findlay.

Met by Simone Karoff, Cambour never regretted this move. The owner of the gallery encouraged him and opened the road for him to American galleries. Cambour's style is directly seated in impressionist pictures. Claude Cambour works on his paintings with the same attention to detail as his ancestors, while never neglecting the poetry or beauty of landscapes. Visitors to his workshop never want to leave. His works can not only be admired in his workshop, but also in New York, Chicago, Palm Beach, Detroit, San Francisco, Tokyo, Singapore, Vienna, and London where he is exhibited permanently.

There is a loyal relationship between Cambour's paintbrush and his eyes. What the one sees, the other reproduces in small strokes. The virgin canvas becomes a work of art and the Sunday painter becomes an impressionist.

© Texts of Oliver AUBERT

EXHIBITIONS

France : Giverny : 101, rue Claude Monet.

USA : New York, Chicago, Palm Beach, Southfield.

United Kingdom : London.

Austria : Vienne.

Germany : Munich.

Singapore : Singapore.

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