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Alfred Manessier

"The construction of a work is melody, comparable with that of a symphony."


Notes of biography

Alfred Manessier was born in 1911 in Saint-Ouen (Somme). He studied art to the “Ecole des Beaux-Arts” of Amiens. He moved to Paris in 1929 where he followed architecture classes at the “Ecole des Beaux-Arts”, while attending freely the Montparnasse academies. Alfred Manessier was friend with Jean Le Moal. In 1935, the two men worked to the Academy Ranson in Roger Bissière’s atelier. For the International Exhibition of Paris in 1937, he took part with Robert Delaunay to the edification project regarding the “Pavillon de l'Air and Chemins-de-fer”.
From 1933, Manessier began exhibiting his work in the Parisian salons (Independent, Young Artists, Tuileries, Salon d'Automne, etc.). Until World War II, Manessier was closed to the cubist movement, then to the surrealist one’s. With the declaration of war, he was mobilized then demobilized. Manessier went to Bissière’s home in the Lot.
In 1941, he took part in the famous exhibition “Twenty painters of French tradition” (Braun Gallery, Paris).
Manessier became converted to the faith in 1943, following a brief stay in the Soligny Trappist monastery. Manessier was more and more interested to the abstraction. He was co-founders in 1945 to the Salon de Mai (Paris). His art was presented abroad where exhibitions were devoted to the young French painting (Toronto, Dublin, Stockholm, etc.). His first personal exhibition took place in the Gallery Jeanne Bucher (Paris) in 1949; the artist exhibited there paintings and lithographs. Several exhibitions followed in France and abroad, in museums or galleries.
Perhaps there are in his art, profane works of landscapes inspiration, and sacred works of spiritual inspirations. However, the first ones illustrated the artist communion with the Creation, in a pantheistic extension of the faith. As a painter and a Christians in this world, he was affected by everything in this world.
The artist expressed himself through various techniques, stained glass windows (over 200), tapestries, monumental works of animation, paintings, works on paper. A thoughtful Man, an inner artist, an adventurer of mind that evolved resolutely towards dematerialization of the narrative, he was one of the great painters of the “Ecole de Paris” and of the second mid twenty century. Manessier raised the issue of the spirituality in the contemporary art.
Alfred Manessier died accidentally in Orleans in 1993.

Artists on display

The art and the artists display: proclamations, galleries, museums, personal or collective exhibitions. On walls or in shop windows, wise or rebels, posters warn, argue, show. Some were specially conceived by an artist for such or such event, other, colder, have only the letter.

Some were created in lithographic technic, most are simple offset reproductions. They are many those who like collecting these rectangles of paper, monochrome or in games of colours, in matt paper or brilliant, with many words or almost dumb.

We are happy also to be able to greet, by this pages, mythical galleries as those of Denise René, Louis Carré, Claude Bernard, Berheim Jeune, Maeght, Pierre Loeb and others.


Complete work(s)

Complete work(s)
*« Les vitraux de Manessier », Armelle Langlois, Musée Suisse du Vitrail, Bentelli–Werd Verlags, Berne, 1993 *« L’oeuvre tissé de Manessier », Comité A. Manessier, Paris 1993 *« L’oeuvre », C. R. en préparation, Christine Manessier et Association Alfred Manessier Alfred Manessier - Les estampes - The Prints », Laure Vallette, sous la direction d'Emmanuel Pernoud, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, 2005-2021. All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • « Manessier », Claire Stoulliq & autres, Skira, Genève/Paris, 1992
  • « Manessier », J.-P. Hodin, Ed. Ides et Calendes, 1996
  • «Manessier, Lumières du nord», B. Ceysson, Renaissance du livre, Tournai 2000
  • « A. Manessier, une aventure avec Dieu », Sabine Lavergne, Ed. Siloë, 2003
  • « Alfred Manessier, mon ami », Jean-Pierre Bourdais, Ed. Siloë, Nantes, 2004
  • « Manessier en Provence », Olivier Cousinou, cat., Ed. Quo Vadis - Snoeck, 2008
  • « Montparnasse années 1930 », coll, cat. d'expo., Rambouillet, Ed. Snoeck, 2010
  • « M., une peinture proche de la musique », Bernard Biard, Ed. Georges Naef, 2012
  • « Manessier, Ténèbres et Lumière de Pâques », P. Cormier, Ed. Scriptoria, 2015
  • « Manessier, du crépuscule au matin clair », coll., Musée Mendjisky, 2015
To read from the artist :
  • «Manessier en Algérie», Djilali Kadid & Manessier, Marsa Ed., Paris/Alger, 2001
  • « Manessier », Pierre Encrevé, textes et entretiens, Ed. Somogy, 2013
Website :
No website dedicated to the artist.

More :

Art movements

+ NON FIGURATIVE ART / 1942-1975 / Jean Bertholle, André Beaudin, Jeannie Dumesnil, Hanna Ben-Dov, Elvire Jan, Charles Lapicque, etc.
+ SCHOOL OF PARIS / 1945-1960 / Jean Degottex, Georges Mathieu, Nicolas de Staël, etc.
All art movements

See & discover

Beyond works currently in stock, it seemed to me useful to combine business with pleasure by letting you discover others works by artists in my gallery. These artworks, now sold or removed from our website, have been in our stock in the past.

These pages will undoubtedly make it possible for some of you to associate an image with its title or the other way round, for others it will be a good time to discover more on such and such artist. For the sake of confidentiality – the pieces being no longer available – we won't display neither their numbering or their price. For whatever reason, make sure to visit this amazing art database with to date 6441 online works just for your pleasure! Michelle Champetier

See & discover