Francois BretFrench, 1918-2004
A great admirer of Velasquez and Picasso since a young age, Bret knew he wanted to become a painter and enters the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts of Paris in 1936. As a young artist, his work is inspired by his travels across France as well as North Africa.
He leaves Paris at the age of thirty-two, when he is offered a teaching position at the École d’Art Décoratif of Nice. During the 50’s, he meets Picasso for the first time in Vallauris, and later works on a TV program in Monte Carlo, featuring artists such as his good friend Jean Cocteau as well as Picasso, Chagall, Van Dongen.
It is also in those years that his personal painting style becomes more distinct. With a deep interest in nature and human beings, he depicts everyday life as it is, showing the little pleasures of life, always focusing on the positive.
In 1990, he signs an exclusive distribution agreement with Toshie Okada, who is said to have collected most of his works.
Appointed as the director of the École Supérieure des beaux-arts of Marseille, from 1961 to 1984, his contributions have opened the door for Marseille to grow into a cultural and artistic center. Over the course of his career, several of his paintings have been acquired by the French government. He is also the recipient of the highest French decorations: he is a Chevalier and Officier of the Légion d’honneur.