© Claudine Vazeille
© André Hambourg - collection Ville de Deauville
© André Hambourg - collection Ville de Deauville

A painter loving Normandy

Author of a remarkable production, corresponding to about 12,000 works, André Hambourg, who was also Paintre de la Marine, lithographer, drawer and war reporter, has developed a figurative art that found several inspiration sources along the Côte Fleurie. André Hambourg lived in the XX century. Born in 1909 in Paris, he started painting the roads of his youth. When he was still very young, he travelled a lot and brought from these trips several preparatory drawings, after his studies at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts. He has been participating very soon to several fairs, before winning the Abd-el-tif prize in 1933, getting his first trip in Algeria, where he lived until the war started.
He was appointed war correspondent in January 1945, then Peintre officiel de la Marine in 1952, a period in which his favourite subjects were the Norman coast and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. These trips made him discover his love for light, leading to a more personal and bright technique, with the exception of the sketches made during the War. At the end of the 1940s, he started to be interested in representing the others in quite a messy agitation whose unit could only be reproduced by the painter.
Among 1947 and 1948, André Hambourg had the opportunity, even before his official nomination as Peintre de la Marine, to board on the Richelieu and to cross the Mediterranean Sea. He also was on board the De Grasse in 1963 and the Colbert in 1966 in the Eastern Mediterranean. Two campaigns on board the helicopter carrier Jeanne d’Arc and the Commandant Bourdais-class frigate in 1983-84, and then in 1985-86, allowed him to take a trip around the world. Finally, to celebrate the centenary of the Liberty Statue in 1986, the Jeanne and the Boudais crossed the Atlantic to participate to the New-York celebrations, also hosting on board André Hambourg.
From 1982, the painter has been renting cabin n.181 on the Boardwalk of Deauville, where he could observe and paint the popular Deauville “away from the worldly bustle, in a quiet place”. Actually, since his first stay in 1949, André HAMBOURG has loved setting down on the beach or on the dyke to paint the light of Deauville or Trouville. In 1965, he has also organized a special exhibition about Deauville at the Wally Findlay Gallery in New York.
1937: First stay in Honfleur.
1947: Stay in Honfleur, then in Saint Rémy de Provence, where he saved the olive tree fields painted by Van Gogh. First sea mission aboard the Richelieu, with the help of Bizette-Lindet.
1976: Normandy, creation of 5 mosaics for three schools of Deauville and Trouville.
1979: Inauguration of the Hambourg hall at the Trouville museum, after a donation made by the artist.
1988: Inauguration of the floor hosting the Hambourg – Rachet donation at the Eugène Boudin museum in Honfleur
2009: For the 10th anniversary of his death, Philippe Augier, Mayor of Deauville revealed a plaque made in tribute to the painter, situated on the cabin n.181, called "Cabine André Hambourg".
2011: Wanting to ensure the preservation, longevity and valorization of the works of her husband, Nicole Hambourg bequeathed to the City of Deauville 538 oil paintings made by him, painted between 1925 and 1999. After receiving this donation, the City of Deauville committed to open in Deauville a museum to preserve and permanently or temporarily exhibit these works. The André Hambourg Museum will be placed at the Franciscaines site, a future friendly and cultural place, whose opening is scheduled for 2019.
2012: A first exhibition, including about one hundred works, is organized at the International Centre of Deauville.