Charles Théophile Angrand was born on 19 April 1854, in Criquetot-sur-Ouville, France. His earliest artistic training was at the Académie de Peinture et Dessin in Rouen, and one of his first influences was Jean-Baptise-Camille Corot, whose retrospective he saw at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 1875. Angrand moved to Paris in 1882. Denied entry into the École des Beaux-Arts, he taught mathematics at Collège Chaptal. Living near the establishments frequented by artists – Le Chat Noir, Café d’Athènes, Café Guerbois – he soon became friends with leading figures of the avant-garde, including Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Maximilien Luce and Henri-Edmond Cross. In 1884, along with Seurat, Signac amongst others, Angrand co-founded the Société des Artistes Indépendants, which would organise the annual Salon des Indépendants in response to the rigid traditionalism of the state-funded Salon.
Whilst Angrand’s early work from the 1880s was influenced by Impressionism, over the course of the decade he began to explore Divisionist and Pointillist techniques, though he would use a more muted palette than his neo-Impressionist contemporaries Seurat and Signac. In 1887, Angrand met Vincent Van Gogh, and joined Seurat painting en plein air on La Grande Jatte island that year. In the 1890s, Angrand would focus on drawing with conté crayon, employing extreme – often monochromatic – tenebrism to accentuate contrasts between light and shadow. He would also draw illustrations for anarchist publications such as Les Temps nouveaux.
Throughout the 1880s, Angrand exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants, as well as Galérie Durand-Ruel and Bernheim-Jeune. In 1891, he exhibited with Les Vingt in Brussels. In 1896, he returned to Normandy, settling in Saint-Laurent-en-Caux. Angrand began painting again in earnest in 1906, emulating the style and palettes of Signac and Cross. In the lead up to the First World War, he spent a year in Dieppe before moving to Rouen where he would remain, living a solitary life, until his death on 1 April 1926.
Angrand’s work can be found in the following selected international collections: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), Copenhagen; Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
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