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Maurice Esteve

"The more I feed the canvas, the more she gains authority."


Notes of biography

Maurice Estève was born Le Cher (Culan) in 1904, he died there at 97 years old. He spent the main part of his childhood in his home town with his grandparents. He became very young passionately fond of art, drawing regularly while he was even not 8 years old! He was 10 years old when he discovered Paris, Le Louvre, Delacroix, Corot and Courbet. He started painting at the age of 11. His vocation was born. His father was opposed, his mother supported him, and Maurice Estève – he was only 19 years old – left Paris for 1 year in Spain where he controlled a drawing atelier of shawls.
Back in France, he devoted himself to the painting and did "odds jobs" for his living. In 1930, he settled down his own atelier. The same year, a first exhibition did not met success. Estève had to wait almost 20 years to expose again.
Self-taught painter, one time into the influence of the surrealists ( 1927-29 ) in Paris, full of admiration for Braque, dedicating a real passion for Cézanne (he painted in 1942 a "Homage" to this painter), the artist hesitated a long time between representational art and abstract art. Under the influence of Matisse, Bonnard, or Jacques Villon, Maurice Estève found "his colors" quickly. He finally chose the abstract art - while having always refuting this naming for his art -, making vibrate the balanced forms with vivid colours.
His art met consecration in 1987, with a museum created in the Hotel des Echevins (Bourges), in which 125 works he donated two years earlier were exposed. He is highly respected as one of the biggest painters of our time, Estève was a draftsman and a great water colourist, an etcher, an exceptional lithographer (his first work was made in 1955 at Mourlot’s workshop); collages also constituted separate creations.
In France as well as abroad, places where Estève exposed collective or personal exhibitions were uncountable; his first retrospective was organized, in 1948, in the Gallery Louis Carré (Paris), same gallery which still exposed Esteve’s works in 1998! This year, the Gallery Claude Bernard in Paris dedicated him a magnificent exhibition.
Maurice Esteve rather than abstract artist, "Not representational artist”.

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)
All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • « Estève », P. Francastel, Ed Flammarion, Paris, 1956
  • « Estève », J. E. Muller, Ed Hazan, Paris, 1974
  • « Hommage à Estève », Revue XXe siècle, 1975
  • « Rétrospective », J. Leymarie & Y. Peyré, Grand Palais, Paris, 1986
  • « Donation de Monique et Maurice Estève », Musée de Bourges, 1990
  • « Coll. du Musée Estève », M. Prudhomme-Estève, Ed. Musées de Bourges, 1990
  • « Maurice Estève », R. Maillard, Ed. Ides et Calendes, Neuchatêl, 1995
  • « Maurice Estève. Aquarelles », cat. d'expo., Gal. Claude Bernard, 1996
  • « Maurice Estève, Peintures 1929-1994 », Ed. Applicat-Prazan, FIAC, 2015
  • « Maurice Estève », G. Viatte, Ed. Communic'art, 2015
To read from the artist :
  • « Hommage à Maurice Estève », XXème siècle, 1975
  • « Le carnet de guerre d'Estève », F. Chapon, Ed des Cendres, 2012
Website :

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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