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Camille Bombois - French Artist From Art History

Art History - Historical Artists > B > Camille Bombois

 

Historical Artist - Camille Bombois (1883 - 1970)

Camille Bombois worked an array of jobs throughout France and never received any formal artistic training. He began painting during the day while working a night job at a printing company. In 1922, his work was recognized by Wilhelm Uhde and others, who encouraged him to pursue painting as a career and not a simple hobby. Bombois is known mostly for his paintings of circus scenes. He became a champion local wrestler before joining a traveling circus as a strongman and wrestler. In 1907 Bombois fulfilled his dream of moving to Paris, where he married and worked as a railway laborer, eventually finding a night job at a newspaper printing plant handling heavy newsprint rolls. Despite the exhausting nature of his job he painted from dawn to dusk, sleeping little. He showed his paintings in sidewalk exhibitions, but his earliest paintings, revealing the influence of the old masters in their subdued use of color, attracted few buyers. The paintings of his maturity are bold in color, featuring strong contrasts of black, bright reds, blues and electric pinks. Drawing from his own experiences, he often painted circus performers and landscapes with fishermen. His paintings of women are emphatic in their carnality, and his landscapes are notable in their careful attention to space, and to the effects of reflected light on water. Bombois' works are on view in many public collections, notably the Musée Maillol in Paris.

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