Guy de Vogüé

Guy de Vogüé, known as Le Vogu, was a Paris-born French painter.

He was a descendant of a noble family who, from the fourteenth century, owned the village and castle of Vogue on the Ardeche river, a tributary of the Rhone. His grandfather, uncle and older cousin bore the title of Marquis. Born in Paris. In the early 1940s he studied at the Petit-Collège d’Avon in Fontainebleau, and sang in a children’s choir. The director of the college, father Jacques (Bünel), was repressed for harboring Jews and died in a concentration camp.

Guy de Vogüé studied veterinary medicine and actively campaigned for the Communist Party, where he was one of the leaders of the Communist Youth. Later, elected local in the region of Mantes-la-Jolie, he will be responsible for town planning and youth. It was in the 1950s that he began to paint. He uses all the techniques of painting and drawing, but, for the sake of economy, he paints mainly on kraft paper. He obtained the Fénéon prize in 1957. He had a public career for fifteen years, with exhibitions at the Galerie Saint-Germain and then at the Galerie de Messine. He takes part in various fairs (new realities fair, May fair) and collective exhibitions. Among his collectors are Georges Duhamel, Clara Malraux, Jacques Lacan. Jean Paulhan and Claude Roy follow him more particularly. His painting is a committed painting, including a series on Auschwitz, on the Algerian war, on the strikes at Flins in 1968, on the notables of Mantes. It is also a painting engaged in thought, which dialogues with philosophy (Levinas, Heidegger, Parmenides), influenced by poetry (Saint-John Perse, Jean Cayrol, René Char in particular), and the memory of the Gregorian sung in Reims Cathedral. Working with the painter and glassmaker Charles Marq, he also painted stained glass (Chapel of the Château de Miromesnil).

From 1968, he left the world of galleries, exhibitions and the art market. He then painted more and more important formats until 1972 with Anabase, a panel 4m high by 12m long. Installed in Rambouillet from 1975 to 1985 in the Palace of the King of Rome, he also painted ceilings, which will disappear. Many stays in Venice, and the frequentation of Titian and Tintoretto, influence his work. In the 1980s, he began a series of 85 ink paintings for a Celebration of Father Jacques, accompanying the Passion according to St. John by Bach. The Celebration will be given in particular in 1986 at Notre Dame de Paris, where Father Jacques had promised that he would give mass after the liberation of the camps.

That same year, half of his work disappeared in the fire of the Palace of the King of Rome. He then settled in the south of France, facing the Coudon mountain. During this period, he painted enormously, repainting in particular some of his burnt paintings, painting the Coudon, cathedrals, the Chauvet cave, figures, arches. He died in his studio, restoring one of the paintings that survived the fire in 1986.

Guy de Vogüé. Composition, 1958
Guy de Vogüé