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Ferdinand du Puigaudeau (French painter) 1864 - 1930

Ferdinand du Puigaudeau was a French painter. He was born in Nantes on 4 April 1864 and died in Croisic on 19 September 1930. As a young boy, du Puigaudeau was close to his uncle Henri de Chateaubriant, who encouraged his artistic pursuits. His education was traditional and he studied at various boarding schools from Paris to Nice. In 1882, du Puigaudeau travelled to Italy, then to Tunisia, and taught himself to paint. The first work which can be safely attributed to du Puigaudeau was dated 1886, the year he visited Pont-Aven where he befriended Charles Laval and Paul Gauguin with whom he decided to travel to Panama and Martinique, but was unable to do so as he was called up for military servce. In 1890, he presented one of his works at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts at a time when his father had introduced him to the dealer Paul Durand-Ruell. He got married on 7 August 1893 in Saint-Nazaire, and had one daughter named Odette. In 1895 he settled down in Pont-Aven for three years. After falling out with Durand-Ruell in 1903, he visited Venice in 1904 where he produced many canvases but subsequently returned to Batz-sur-Mer with serious financial problems. 1907 saw him move into the manor house of Kervaudu in Le Croisic which had been loaned to him by friends. The Great War of 1914 isolated him from the rest of the world. Degas himself called him "the hermit of Kervaudu" due to his secluded and solitary existence. In 1919 he began to prepare an exhibition in New York, and worked on it for four years, but it was cancelled at the last minute. This failure had dire repercussions and he fell into a state of depression and alcohol abuse. He died on 19 September 1930 He painted many Breton scenes and was fascinated with the tradition of the pardon with its processions and rituals, as indeed were many artists over the years. He also favoured painting studies of Breton women. Some paintings are shown below and his fascination with the effects of light are evident in his use of flickering candlelight. 

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