His father, Francesco Fontanarosa, and his mother, Stefania Lucchin, Italian, came to Paris in early 1912, a precision where his father worked as a tailor.
His childhood is shared between Paris and Padua . His visits to Veneto will have an influence on his work. He attended, in turn, the communal school in Paris and Sanremo where his parents settled in 1921. Then in 1923, it was the definitive return of the Fontanarosa family in Paris.
His parents did not oppose his desire to draw and paint, but advised him to learn a trade. In 1927, he entered the École Estienne in Paris, at the lithographic drawing studio. A prize obtained at this school allows him to make a trip to Tunisia in 1931. The discipline in the work and the advice received during these four years spent at the School Estienne will be of great help in the future.
He left Estienne in 1931, and his parents gave him a year's worth of painting, on condition that he entered the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris . He works more and more, follows the evening courses of the School of Applied Arts , works in the Louvre Museum , the Jardin des Plantes and the street. He installs his first workshop in a disused shop and works there alone.Cubist paintings put him on the track. To understand the great classics, Le Concert champêtre du Titien , in the Louvre, will be the starting point of a whole series of studies that will be done in the museum itself. He exhibited his works at the Galerie l'Archipel with Mané-Katz and Oguiss .
In 1932, Lucien Fontanarosa entered the studio of Lucien Simon at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he worked freely: the climate suited him, and he became friends with His colleagues like André Hamburg , Jean Navarre or Georges Rohner . In 1933, he met Annette Faive, who became his wife. He therefore shares his time between the courses of the School of Fine Arts and his workshop.
Fontanarosa opened its second studio in 1933, at No. 6, rue Asseline, in the 14th arrondissement. He exhibited for the first time at the Salon of the National Society of Fine Arts with a Nude in the workshop . Although the attendance at the Simon workshop is always assiduous, it works largely on its own. In August, he made a brief trip to Italy.
In 1934 Fontanarosa obtained a travel grant from the State and left for Spain in November. He discovers there the relations existing between the Spanish painters and the Venetians whom he never ceases to love particularly and study. He is very sensitive to the tragedy experienced by the Spanish people and realizes during his stay works of great gravity.
It was in 1935 that the first purchase of the State took place. The City of Paris awarded him the Grand Prix of North Africa (scholarship of 18,000 francs), which enabled him to work one year in Morocco, from October 1935 to March 1936. He stayed six months in Fez, travel At the Tafilalet, and then returned to Paris to take the prize in Rome . In July 1936, he obtained the first grand prize tied with his friend Jean Pinet . From August to October 1936, accompanied by Annette Faive, he returned to Morocco, stopped in Casablanca, then settled in Rabat, where he made frequent trips to the south. His paintings of the time give a great place to the light of this country which fascinates him, and to the scenes of the daily life. He makes a special exhibition in Rabat and sells a canvas to the museum of this city. The French State buys a canvas for the national museums.
In January 1937, he left for Villa Medici , then directed by Paul Landowski , where he stayed until March 1939. He will occupy Ingres ' studio. He works extensively in Italian museums and travels to Veneto, Tuscany, etc. He meets André Greck , sculptor, who on this occasion realizes his bust, in bronze. It is also in Rome that he meets André Gide , for whom he will perform illustrations. He will be called in 1951 to portray him on his deathbed.
Lucien Fontanarosa exhibited his works executed in Italy at the Musée de l'Orangerie in 1938. He won the Prix Cottet.
The State commissioned him to decorate one of the four entrances to the Pavillon de l'Eau in Liège (Belgium) in 1939. He carried out this work in collaboration with Annette Faive, whom he had just married in Rome during a Stay in May and June. On his return from Rome, he settled in a new studio near the Buttes-Chaumont, 97 rue Compans in the 19th arrondissement . In 1939, he was mobilized in the infantry, which did not prevent him from participating in group exhibitions abroad. The museum of Sofia buys a canvas to him. The sketches, drawings and studies that he realizes during his mobilization will later be acquired by the Museum of the Army in Paris. On the occasion of the exhibition of the works executed in Rome, which takes place at the Orangerie, he meets Edouard Vuillard and receives many counsels. He was awarded the Gillot-Dar Prize. As soon as he could, he painted landscapes of Paris in the vicinity of the Canal Saint-Martin, in Saint-Denis.
In January 1940, Édouard Vuillard said of his work: " One can frankly let oneself go to the joy of praise before the paintings of Fontanarosa. How much we should be grateful at this moment to a young artist for having attempted to make a real picture, to execute a real composition, which is something other than a simple study, and in which his qualities for imagining, To order, to harmonize forms and colors are manifested with generosity. [ref. Necessary] "The State buys him for the Museum of Fine Arts of Chartres a Landscape of Venice . When he was demobilized, with a vertigo of colors that he could not control, he reduced his palette considerably to dark and severe tones and destroyed much of his work. He sees the world as a subject of meditation immersed in a perpetual winter.
The State commissioned him a fresco for the hall of the teachers' council of the Lycée de Saint-Maur and, in 1941, bought him the composition entitled Le Brabant , which decorated the Caisse Nationale du Crédit Agricole. He is a member of the steering committee of the National Society of Fine Arts.
In 1942, he executed the decoration of the amphitheater Richelieu at the Faculty of Letters of Poitiers on the theme of the siege of La Rochelle 2 . His son Patrice Fontanarosa was born in Paris.
Lucien Fontanarosa made the acquaintance in 1943 of the collector Jean Aubecq who buys several paintings to him. The State bought the Horses for the town hall of Château-Gontier. The artist moved to Bry-sur-Marne with his friend François Fauck 3 to work during the summer months. Returning from captivity, his friend Jacques Ratier creates Galerie Chardin at 36 rue de Seine in Paris, and they will never stop working together. The City of Paris buys a great Landscape of Neuilly-sur-Marne .
In 1944, his daughter Frédérique Fontanarosa was born in Paris. In 1945 he became a member of the jury at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts. During the summer, he travels and paints in Brittany.
In 1946, Fontanarosa was nominated a member of the jury for the Prix de Rome Prize in painting, and a professor at the American Academy in Fontainebleau . Mr. and Mrs. Aubecq put at their disposal a workshop in their property of Acheux in Amiens. The artist will come regularly to work with other painters ( Roger Chapelain-Midy , Robert Humblot , Claude Schurr ...). The City of Paris offers the City of Stockholm its painting Place de la Concorde . His son Renaud Fontanarosa was born in Paris.
Lucien Fontanarosa decided in 1947 not to exhibit in the big Salons for some time. Henceforth he spent his summers at Fontainebleau, sharing his work between his painting and his lectures at the American Academy. He made a trip to Tuscany in 1950. He was a member of the jury at the 1954 Prix de Rome Prize.
Lucien Fontanarosa was elected a member of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1955. Not wishing to wear the traditional sword, it is a guitar which according to his wishes will be offered to him. He made a trip to London in 1956, on the occasion of his exhibition at the Galerie Marlborough, and then made a brief trip to Holland.
In a few years, Galerie Chardin has been assisted by painters such as Paul Charlot , Claude Schurr, Jean Marzelle , sculptor Antoniucci Volti and ceramist Henry Plisson . Not only does Lucien Fontanarosa endorse this choice, but he and his comrades contribute to creating a unique atmosphere of esteem and friendship. In December 1957, he was appointed Knight of the Legion of Honor in the title of National Education.
He was appointed professor of drawing and plastic education at the Ecole Polytechnique in 1958. He acquired a property in the Var in La Cadière d'Azur, a region he had discovered in France. The years 1930-40. He set up a workshop where he will now work regularly. This mediterranean climate inspired many compositions and still life. In 1959, he illustrated Albert Camus's L'Etrangerin the Pocket Book .
In 1964, Fontanarosa set up his studio at the 32 cité des Fleurs in the 17th arrondissement of Paris , a place of serenity where the lovers of his works frequently visited him.
From 1964 to 1969, Fontanarosa produced four bank notes for the Banque de France bearing the effigy of Berlioz , Pascal , Quentin de La Tour and Delacroix .
In 1967 Fontanarosa illustrated Crime and Punishment by Éditions de L'Odeon & Éditions André Vial 4 , then Amours odes chansons by Ronsard 5 . In 1973, it illustrates the Avare of Molière 6 .
In 1974, Lucien Fontanarosa sent Les Amoureux in the city 'to the Exhibition of painters who witnessed their time .
His sending to the Salon of the painters witnesses of their time of 1975 has for subject Dominique with the melons of water . He is working on the preparation of his personal exhibition which is to take place in Paris in the spring of 1976. But at the end of March his health requires hospitalization and surgery. He died a few days later, Sunday, April 27th. He rests in the Père-Lachaise cemetery ( 85th Division) in Paris 7 .
In 1985, Annette Faive-Fontanarosa, wife of Lucien Fontanarosa, founded the "Lucien Fontanarosa Association" in charge of managing Lucien Fontanarosa's work and preparing a catalog raisonné with Stéphane Löber.
Lucien Joseph Fontanarosa studied at the Ecole Estienne in Paris, a lithographic drawing studio, and later at the Ecole National des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was highly regarded throughout his entire career by French artists and the French State alike.