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Henri Duhem (French painter) 1860 - 1941

He was descended from an old Flemish family and originally practiced as a lawyer. In 1887, his passion for drawing and watercolors finally led him to go to Paris and enroll in the drawing classes of Henri Harpignies. While there, he became friends with Émile Breton, who introduced him to oil painting. Breton's niece, Virginie Demont-Breton (the daughter of Jules Breton), introduced him to a young painter named Marie Sergeant, whom he married in 1890. At about that time, Demont-Breton moved to a small village named Wissant. Encouraged to follow, the Duhems established a home in Camiers and gathered their artist friends together to form what would be known as the "École de Wissant", some of the most notable members of which were Georges Maroniez, Francis Tattegrain and Fernand Stiévenart. In 1893, he fully abandoned his legal career to devote himself to art, both as a creator and an avid collector of work by his contemporaries. He and his wife travelled extensively as he began to exhibit more widely abroad. During the early part of World War I, he and Marie lost their only son Rémy at the assault on Les Éparges (20 June 1915). Marie was deeply affected and never truly recovered. She died of a neglected tumor in 1918, during the occupation. Because of his legal experience, Duhem was called upon to assist with the administration of Douai. His painful memories of this period are recorded in a book called La Mort du foyer (The Death of a Home, Éditions Figuière, 1922). In the inter-war period, he remained artistically active, preparing a major show at the Salon des Tuileries in 1923, commuting between Douai and Paris, where he maintained a home in the Sixteenth Arrondissement. In 1932, he was named a Commander in the Légion d'honneur. Five years later, faced with declining health and the threat of war, he moved to Juan-les-Pins, where he lived at the villa "Mont Riant" until his death. In 1985, his priceless art collection was donated to the Musée Marmottan by his adopted daughter Nelly, following his wishes. Source: Wikipedia * * * Marie Duhem (French painter) 1871 - 1918 Marie Duhem, was born in Guemps on March 18, 1871 and died in Douai on July 9, 1918. Marie Duhem’s parents ran a lace factory. From her childhood, she became familiar with the work of model designers. She becomes the student of the painter Adrien Demont, husband of the painter Virginie Demont-Breton. It was in their Wissant workshop that she met, in 1889, Henri Duhem. Eleven years older than her a passionate advocate of painting. They were married in 1890 and, the following year, she gave birth to a boy, Rémy (1891-1915). It was at this time they formed the group of Wissant (still called School of Wissant) centering around the Demont-Breton, each summer for several years, the Duhems, installed in their country house in Camiers worked with a whole group of friends in the countryside of Boulogne and the coastline of the Opal Coast. Among the most assiduous are Georges Maroniez, Francis Tattegrain, Fernand Stievenart or Felix Planquette. Marie Duhem began to form friendships and acquire paintings with a formidable set of first-rate Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, including Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Henri Le Sidaner amongst others. Le Sidaner was a regular visitor to their home and painted with them regularly. Exhibiting abroad in London, Rome, St. Petersburg etc Marie Duhem was a painter involved in the cultural life of her time. Just like her husband she forged friendships with Camille Pissarro, Auguste Rodin and Henri Le Sidaner. She Executed an oil portrait (now preserved at the Dunkirk Museum of Fine Arts) with Le Sidaner revealing the intimism in which Henri Le Sidaner and Duhem worked.. During the First World War, the couple lost their only son, Rémy Duhem, a young painter with a promising future, killed on the assault of Les Éparges, on June 20, 1915. Marie Duhem, very affected by the untimely death of her son, died of a tumor, in the family home of Douai, July 9, 1918, at the age of 47 years. In 1922, Henri Duhem evokes the memory of his son and his wife in a story called The Death of the Home. Two years later, the art critic Camille Mauclair, a great friend of the couple, retraces the drawn and painted work of the two deceased artists, in a book with well-documented iconography, entitled Marie Duhem, Rémy Duhem: tribute, published by Jacomet. Marie Duhem was a painter whose career had a national influence. She was named Officer of the Palmes académiques, named Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1912, she received a medal at the World Fair of 1900. A personal exhibition is dedicated to her in 1906, in Paris, at the Georges Petit Gallery. That same year, the State acquired an oil on canvas entitled "White Buttercups" for the Luxembourg Museum, now kept at the Musée d’Orsay, which also owns Duhems "Queens Daisies in a Vase". 


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