Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Who is the French artist Marius Girard?

                                                     William Girard (L) & Marius Girard (R)
                                                      A Girard original painting is on wall.                                                     


BIOGRAPHY OF MARIUS GIRARD  (c) 2012 by B.C. Edwards

There is very little information about Marius Girard online.  A woman who owns an original Girard painting sent me a copy of a newspaper interview with Girard from 1972.  The photograph of Marius Girard and his nephew William Girard was taken from the article.  There are many of Girard's paintings online.  Search Google for "Marius Girard"  and then click image section. 

Marius Girard was born in Rheims, France, probably in 1927, but perhaps in 1926.  He attended regular school and college until age 19, then studied at several art academies.  His only occupation has been as an artist.  He owns a home (condominium) on a street named Rue St. Rustique in Paris.

Girard is famous for painting impressionistic scenes of  Paris.  He has an extraordinary ability with color.  Some paintings are reproduced for prints and postcards.  He is one of the world's most reproduced artists.   In 1972, one of his postcards had been selling for over 15 years.  Girard did 135 watercolor paintings for the lobby and rooms of the Hotel Hilton in Paris. 

Girard sold his original oils and watercolors on the streets of Montmartre (Paris).   This is a district of Paris, in the northern part, noted for its cafes and as an artists' quarter.  In the online chat rooms there are several accounts of people who bought artwork directly from Girard in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.  During Girard's first visit to the United States and Canada in 1972-73, he might have done some paintings of North American scenes. 

Girard paints outdoors directly from the scene.  To begin a watercolor painting, Girard sketches in the basic lines with a stick dipped in ink or dark paint.  He uses popsicle or other sticks which he sharpens with a knife.  His style stresses linear effects.  Lines range from thin to thick.  Various textures and shadows are created with the stick.  After this stage has been completed, he works with watercolor paints applied with brushes.  Girard does watercolor paintings on a "special cardboard."  Perhaps he meant heavy-weight watercolor paper or illustration board.  Girard paints more watercolors than oils.  He said his technique is different for oil painting.

There are numerous listings for Girard on various auction sites, but records are usually available only to members.  Many original paintings and reproductions have been sold through auction houses.  On www.artprice.com there were seven paintings listed.  At www.goantiques.com an original watercolor painting was priced at $1,000.  Image size is 15 X 20" and date is 1950s or 1960s.  He has also done gouache (opaque watercolor) paintings.  There are auction records for original pen and ink drawings.

Online listings for unframed prints by Girard range from $1.00 to $7.00 each.  Framed prints are listed for around $8.00 to $10.00 each.  The value of a framed print with a double mat may be from $25 to $40.  One source said the lithographs may be worth $25 to $100 each.  Prices are less at stores selling used merchandise such as Goodwill.  A postcard from the 1950s or 1960s, was priced online at $12.00.

Most of Girard's prints are lithographs.  Although the signature and title under each print appear to be original handwriting in pencil, they are printed as part of the lithograph.  I have three lithographed art prints by Girard.  They are printed on heavy paper with a slight texture.  When I tried to erase part of the pencil writing, I found that it could not be erased. 

Marius Girard is listed in "Dictionary of Painters of Montmartre," editor Andre Roussard.  The book contains bios of 4,285 artists for the years 1800-1999.  It is online at www.roussard.com
http://www.roussard.com/detaildicopeintre.html#Anchor-44867

The newspaper article is from Lorain, Ohio, in Lorain County.  Date of Sunday, November 19, 1972.  Title "Postcards Made Him Rich."  Girard was age 45 at the time of this interview.  He was not married.  William Girard was age 18 at the time of this interview.  He was not married.

If you have more information, please use the comment section.  Numerous people are searching for information about Girard.
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(c) 2012 by B. C. Edwards -- http://newandoldvarietyblog.blogspot.com/ 
You have permission to copy this article for reference purposes only or to attach to Marius Girard artwork.  If you wish to publish this article, you will need written permission for its publication.

9 comments:

  1. i live in florida, west palm beach, and would like to know where I can go to get a piece of Girard work appraised, I cannot tell if it is real pencil or lithograph since it is framed and sealed inside frames.

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    1. Melissa -- I do not know where you can have a Girard work appraised. I would suggest taking it to an auction house in person. There should be one or more auction houses in your area. Anyone who deals in buying and selling antiques and collectibles would be able to tell you if it is a print or original and what it is worth. In my article, I summarized all sales information that I could locate online. I would not recommend your using an online appraiser. This needs to be done in person. Online appraisers charge money for their service. Most professionals in the art, antiques, and collectibles business will give you this information for no charge. If you find that your artwork is an original, there would be a charge for a paper giving you its value for insurance purposes. In my response to another comment for this article, I told about how you can use a strong magnifying glass to tell the difference between a print and an original. The pencil handwriting for Girard's signature and title on his prints look like original writing but are printed.

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  2. I just found in a drawer, while looking for something else, 3 of his Paris images.
    I hesitate calling them lithographs because I do not know what that is.
    In 1960 or 1961 I was in France because of a high school graduation gift.
    I have 3; Saint Chapelle Consiege (sp?) - Tour Eiffel,
    L'Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame et les bouquinisty (sp?).
    The title and his signature are not raised...all smooth like the paintings.
    The paper is not thin,.,.actually remind me of the blotters of when I was a child....lol.
    There is an inch wide shadow on each on the left just beyond the landscape image.

    Now my question is....are these 'prints', I guess, familiar to you?
    And I am sure they are not worth much since the edges are just a been worn looking......after all they have been sitting around for about 57 years...lol

    I am just curious, and I cannot ask my aunt where I bought them in Paris because she has died. I was in Paris only twice, I lived in Evreux in the north. Once I went to a flea market and then second time I didn't do any shopping that I remember, therefore , I am assuming I may have bought them in a FLEA MARKET. lol

    But as I said, I am just curious about these pieces and wanted to join in the discussion and share that I have 3.
    Sincerely, Peggy

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    1. Peggy – Your artworks by Marius Girard are probably reproduction prints. I do not think they are original artworks. I have posted information below explaining how the prints were made and how to identify a print. Girard's signature and title were printed along with the art. The thick paper that your artworks were printed on is the same type of paper as for my Girard prints. I do not know what the shadow could be. Girard prints and postcards were sold at many places. He had a booth in Montmartre and sold many prints and original artworks directly to people. If you search on Google with the name of a print plus Marius Girard's name, you should be able to locate a print identical to yours. You could also search Google Images for Marius Girard to look at images of his artworks. There are many online. The titles of your prints are similar to the prints I have. On Google Images, there are many photographs of the Montmartre Paris artists square where the artists worked and sold their art. You could have bought your artworks there or at a regular flea market in Paris.

      Refer to these sites to learn how to identify an offset lithograph.

      http://www.graphicsatlas.org/identification/?process_id=46

      http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/offset-printing-offset-lithography

      http://www.villageantiques.ch/prints/primer/stepone.htm

      Photo-mechanical offset lithography is called offset printing or offset lithography. It is a process used to print works of art onto paper. It is also used to print books, magazines, calendars, etc. It is mass production printing which results in a high quality image. Prints and post cards by Marius Girard were printed on presses in large quantities. Offset lithographic prints can be identified by the dots as seen under a strong magnifying glass. The first link above shows these dots magnified by 50 times. The third link shows the use of a 5X magnifier to identify prints. I have a 5X magnifying glass with a handle. I have a jewelry loupe with 10X and 20X magnifications. I can see the pattern of tiny colored dots when using my magnifiers to view the prints under a strong light from my desk lamp.

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  3. The viewer count for this article is now 2,405. This article has been online for a little over a year.

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  4. When I searched for Marius Girard in the French language, I found that he was listed in several directories of artists, as well as people directories. Since his address and telephone number are online in many places, I will repeat it here. Marius Girard, 18 Rue Saint Rustique, 75018 Paris France, telephone 0142640680.


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  5. You may be able to find more information about Girard if you search on Google using the French language. Use this term "Marius Girard artiste peintre" and you will get links in the French language.

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  6. I have an original water color painting of a Montmartre scene by Girard, purchased about 1956. My parents and I watched him paint it, we bought it and then had to let it dry. Later we framed it and my parents just gave it to me. It is a wonderful memento of our year in Paris, when I was 13 years old.

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  7. I have what I believe is a lithograph of a picture that I have not been able to find online. It is signed on the bottom left, and on the bottom right is written: PARIS - Notre Dame at la Gouquinistes which from what I know should be spelled Bouquinistes. Can you provide any insight on this picture?

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