Charles Paul Reynold Barraud - Le Buveur, 1944
Oil on hardboard
75 x 67 cm
Charles Paul Reynold Barraud (1897-1997) was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds as the eldest of four brothers. All four brothers influenced the Neuchâtel art landscape with their works, but Charles in particular was standing out from the crowd. His oeuvre is characterized mainly by the fact that the artist was not only interested in aesthetic form, but saw art as something that above all brought emotion and experience with it. Barraud experimented with various techniques and styles, which made his entire oeuvre appear very heterogeneous, but at the same time symbolized his joy of experimentation and his passion.
In addition to landscape scenes and nature motifs, Barraud also devoted himself increasingly to portrait painting in the 1940s. At this time he painted several self-portraits, including Le Buveur (1944). The artist usually presents himself looking melancholically in an interior. In front of him is either a table or another type of storage on which he "presents" randomly selected objects. There does not seem to be any connection between objects and the person portrayed. The colours in Le Buveur are limited to the cool shades of blue, grey, green, white and black, which underlines the prevailing mood in the picture, this sunken, dissociated, almost sad mood.
The technique used by Barraud in this phase of his work is somewhat reminiscent of Pointillism, but also of Pablo Picasso's early works, which are very similar in their choice of motifs and colours. What is particularly striking about this technique is the slightly blurred appearance that Barraud achieves by working exclusively with colored areas without lines and borders.
(Source: Comtesse, Gérald: Charles Barraud (1897-1997), 1997.)