Marcelle Bergerol (born Cahen)
1900 Paris-1989 Paris
Marcelle was a member of the “Atelier” of Edmond Heuzé, who was one of the leading personages of the figurative movement from the beginning of the last century. The studio of Edmond Heuzé was one of the great contributors to the “Ecole de Paris” society.
In addition to her art, Marcelle was involved for many years as an active member of the “Cabinet du Dr. Beauduin” which was what we could call a “think tank” for fine intellectuals, artists, and psychologists that was dedicated to studying the psychology of artists, with an emphasis on painters.
Before joining the atelier of Edmond Euzé, Marcelle took a year of drawing classes as part of the early development of her talent. Marcelle started to paint in her early twenties and, very interestingly, before she got married she was making a living by painting portraits on request. Marcelle Bergerol is best described as a “regional” painter, meaning that she focused her talent on a specific locality. This region is known as the “Quercy”, an exceptional and magical area in the southwest of France, traversed by the Dordogne river, and home to some of the most beautiful and charming villages as well as magnificent castles of Europe.
Marcelle probably chose the Quercy for the extraordinary light and colors of the villages, landscapes, and people. More importantly, this is where she met her husband, my grandfather, while vacationing there in 1928, in the town of Souillac. He owned the family house which is still there, and is still in the family! Although she was emotionally involved with this area and painted it extensively, Paris was where she lived all her life and some of her most beautiful paintings are of Paris. She also traveled and painted extensively in Brittany near the little port city of Beg-Meil, where we used to go on vacation every summer. Beg-Meil is only 20 miles from Pont-Aven and is a city known for hosting and influencing some of our greatest grand masters, such as Gauguin and Sérusier.
She excelled at her art for more than 60 years, which is quite extraordinary. Her passion for beauty and real forms, from nature or humans, was a constant during this period. She loved and had a gift for showing on a canvas the real form of things. Her sense of color and her brush strokes are absolutely astonishing. When you look at a painting of Marcelle, you are transported to a world of true forms and real colors. It’s as if you have already been there!
As a post-impressionist painter, Marcelle’s art was greatly influenced by great masters like Cézanne, Monet and Pissaro, but she was especially influenced by the fauvist movement (she has been significantly influenced by the French fauvist painter Albert Marquet), as color was one of the major elements of Marcelle’s creativity.
She married André Baptiste Bergerol in the late twenties, and François Bergerol, my father, was born in the mid thirties. Marcelle kept painting with love and passion, and she dedicated her life to her family and her art. One very amusing detail: she never had a driver’s license!
Marcelle exhibited at the “Salon des Indépendants” starting in 1927 and later showed her work at the “Salon d’Automne” from 1929 to 1936, and the “Salon des Tuileries” from 1930 to 1934. She also exhibited in several galleries in Paris, like the Gallery du Verseau, the Gallery Altarriba and the Gallery Armand Drouant, before and after the Second World War.
She was an active and dedicated member of the “Société des Arts en Quercy”.