Eymoutiers, France, 1926 – Boudreville, France, 2005
Mixed media on canvas
162 x 130 cm
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alain Gourdeau, inv. 2006.265
International Contemporary Art
At a very young age, Paul Rebeyrolle developed tuberculosis of the bones, which forced him to remain immobile for long periods. He made drawings to pass the time while his parents, who were both elementary school teachers, taught him to read and write. In October 1944, after earning his baccalauréat in philosophy, he headed north to Paris on “the first Liberation train.” There he discovered the works of his contemporaries Chaim Soutine and Pablo Picasso, as well as those of Rubens and Rembrandt, who informed his artistic development. This work belongs to Rebeyrolle’s “kingdom of the blind” series and conveys the bitter vision of the world that informs his work. Here, we see a character with a gaping mouth and can imagine a cry of pain emanating from it. His hands frame his eye sockets, which are black and empty; his eyeballs stare up from the table in front of him. Rebeyrolle sought to raise awareness with this allegory of human blindness.
© Estate of Paul Rebeyrolle / SOCAN (2023)