Balagny-sur-Thérain 1896 - Paris 1987
André Masson was a French painter and engraver. He was born in 1896, near Paris, but studied in Bruxelles. When he came back to Paris, he first studied painting in Paul Baudoin's studio.
In 1922 he turned towards Cubism and was mostly influenced by André Derain. During the following years, he encountered the Surrealist group and joined the movement in 1924. He was the first one to explore the dreams and the subconscious, in order to try an automatic graphism. But it was only in 1946, when he came back from his travel around the Antilles and the United States, that he settled in Aix-en-Provence and took inspiration from nature. Right in the heart of these Fauvist landscapes, he sought for solitude and inspiration. He particularly loved the haze of l'Arc, the Mistral wind and the torrents in the Verdon gorges. The paintings from this period are direct references to his close environment.