Édouard Georges Mac-Avoy (born 25 January 1905 – 26 September 1991) was a French artist and portraitist.
Mac-Avoy descended by his father from an Irish Catholic family emigrated to France in the 17th century and, through his mother, Hélène de Cazalet, from a family of Huguenots from the Cévennes.
He studied in Switzerland until his baccalauréat. He felt an artistic vocation and hesitated between theater and painting. Having chosen the latter, he entered the Académie Julian at the age of 18 and studied there with Paul Albert Laurens. In Paris, he frequented the house of Felix Vallotton and met Bonnard and Vuillard who were interested in his work.
He sold his first painting, to the French State, when he was only 19 years old; It will be exhibited at the Musée du Luxembourg. He then shareed his achievements between landscapes, cities and portraits, before devoting himself almost definitively to the latter genre. At the Salon des Tuileries, in 1936, he exhibited only portraits in a style so peculiar and so different from his time that he was compared to a Philippe de Champaigne.
In 1939, he married Anne Coquebert de Neuville, with whom he had three children. When the Second World War broke out, he was mobilized and joined the 5th Division of Motorized Infantry; He will be decorated with the Croix de guerre 1939-1945. His experience of war will therefore influence his style.
Mac-Avoy realized the portraits of many personalities, living or deceased, of the arts and letters world as well as politics, such as André Gide , Pierre Larousse, Honegger, Mauriac, Picasso, de Gaulle, Béjart, and also Johnny Hallyday.
A friend of Henry de Montherlant, he illustrates several luxury editions of this author including La relève du Matin in 1952, La Ville dont le prince est un enfant in 1961, Les Garçons in 1973.
His Parisian studio was located at 102, rue du Cherche-Midi (fr), in the 6th arrondissement.
For a time he was a teacher at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière.Read More