Antoine Blanchard (French, born November 15, 1910–died August 10, 1988) was born Marcel Masson in the Loire Valley in France. His carpenter father saw Blanchard’s early talent as an artist, and sent him to a school in Blois to study drawing. The artist later attended the École des Beaux-Arts de Rennes. In 1932, Blanchard went on to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he began to explore his love of city life. In 1939, Blanchard was called to serve in World War II. After the end of the war, he returned to making art.

The artist would spend months painting images of Paris during the 1890s. Blanchard’s cityscapes were meant to be a nostalgic vehicle to the Belle Époque period in Paris. His style of painting echoed the brush strokes of the Impressionists. Like his predecessors, he studied lighting using swift brush strokes and rich colors. His work has been compared to that of Edouard Léon Cortès, who also painted street scenes in Paris. In the 1950s, Blanchard’s paintings were sold through agents in the United States. It was around this time that Blanchard adopted his pseudonym. By the 1970s, galleries in the United States and Canada were selling Blanchard’s paintings. In 1979, out of 347 artist entries, Blanchard’s Le Café de la Paix won the Premier Grand Prix at a competition at the Café de la Paix.

Blanchard died in 1988 in Paris.

Timeline

1910
Born on November 15, 1910 in a small village near the banks of the Loire
1929–1932
Attended the École des Beaux-Arts de Rennes
1932
Traveled to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts
1939
Called to serve in World War II
1988
Died in Paris

Exhibitions

1979
Le Café de la Paix; Won the Premier Grand Prix at the first art competition held in Paris’s famed cafe