G&P 50 years (1)

Half a Century with Robert Chailloux

Our first “Half a Century with…” spotlight is on Robert Chailloux who was a remarkable French artist and a good friend to Anthony and the gallery. A regular visitor to Chailloux, firstly in Paris and then subsequently at his home in the countryside near Dourdan for over 40 years, Anthony has many enjoyable memories of their friendship together.

Chailloux always wanted to be an artist and after art school quickly set up his own studio in which to paint. He delighted in the countryside, the nature surrounding him and rural French life. He collected many fine examples of French provincial pottery. These provided limitless opportunities for their use in his compositions. He labelled each vase or pot meticulously and stored them all in an extremely large cabinet beside his easel.

His studio was also an Aladdin’s cave of other treasures, priceless for the passion and history of each object – from a piece of lace to a doll made by his wife, they were all captured on canvas at one point or another in his pictures. He gave Cory a joyous painting of one of these dolls which now hangs in her daughter’s room.

Robert Chailloux studio

Anthony’s love of ship models was shared with Chailloux who would lovingly build the models himself. Chailloux took three to four years to complete each one. His attention to detail was painstakingly illustrated when one day he advised Anthony that he was having a problem drilling a hole in a pin onto which he was going to attach a stern rail!

Rural France and all its charm were softly and timelessly captured within his paintings, and his beautiful rustic fruits and floral subjects were often taken directly from his gardens or carefully selected from the local market. It would have been a pleasant walk into town for Madame Chailloux to collect bread from the boulangerie for lunch or for him to add to a painting composition.

Chailloux gardened with wildlife and his beloved birds in mind. His garden was always positively buzzing with insects and alive with birdsong, in no small part due to the plants he grew from seed. Amongst these was the fascinating honesty plant with it’s amazing transparent seed pods, resembling silver coins, hence the French name of “Monnaie du Pape.” The paintings which feature it are always much treasured.

Chailloux pottery

In 1940, Chailloux became a member of the Salon des Artistes Francais, and began exhibiting regularly. The recognition his work received allowed him the opportunity to enter the Salon de la Nationale exposition of 1943. In 1945, he exhibited at the Salon d’Independence and became a member of the Salon de la Marine.

Chailloux was truly one of the nicest people Anthony had the great pleasure of knowing. Every visit to his studio was a treasured encounter. He will never forget his hidden stash of whisky, pulled up from a hole in the lawn, which they shared on many visits.  As a family he has touched all three generations of the Fullers and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have known him and to have been custodians of his work over such a long period of time.

Robert Chailloux and Anthony

Chailloux sadly passed away at the end of 2006, and we held a retrospective in 2013 at Beauchamp Place as part of our moving in celebrations and to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.


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