Church, Blue Outline

Accession Number

Church, Blue Outline

Pierre Daura

Object Creation Date
circa 1955-1960

Medium & Support
oil on canvas

31 15/16 x 25 13/16 in. (81 x 65.5 cm);40 1/16 x 34 3/16 x 2 13/16 in. (101.7 x 86.8 x 6.99 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Martha R. Daura

Label copy
President's House object Summary
Pierre Daura was born in 1896 in Menorca, one of the Balearic Islands of Spain. He grew up in Barcelona and studied art there with Jose Ruiz Blasco, the father of Picasso. In 1914 he left for Paris, where he became a pupil of Emile Bernard and studied engraving and woodcuts.
In 1930, after participating in the founding of the group Cercle et Carre (Circle and Square)--comprised of a number of artists who promoted geometric abstraction--Daura and his American wife left Paris and purchased a thirteenth-century house in the Lot Valley of south central France in the small town of Saint Cirq-Lapopie. During the Spanish Civil War Daura fought against Franco. In 1939, due to his wife's ill health, he and his family moved to the United States, settling in Rockbridge Baths, Virginia, where his wife's family had a summer home. After the war Daura taught art in Lynchburg, Virginia and visited his home in Saint Cirq-Lapopie during the summers.
Daura was attracted to the stone architecture of the medieval village church of Saint Cirq-Lapopie, which he painted frequently. He found a certain comfort in what he called the "calm, serene, unchanged" qualities of the church. This painting explores the weightiness of the buildings, placing the church centrally within the composition and emphasizing it physicality with bright, framing color as it towers above the red roofs of the surrounding houses. Pencil drawing, visible beneath the surface of paint, accentuates the age of the houses, and black outlining animates them while flattening the pictured space. In this work Daura continues to explore an intriguing paradox that is present through much of his later work: a cubist-inspired breaking up of three dimensional space contrasted by the roundness of naturalistic forms.
(Christa Janecke, Laura Zahodne)

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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