Jouve, Paul

Paul Jouve was a French painter born in 1878. He was the son of Auguste Jouve, a friend of Van Gogh’s. His gift for drawing was noticed by his father in his early years and he started drawing big cats. Refusing to attend classes at the Decorative Arts School, but interested in the various reproduction techniques, he trained in lithography in Henry Patrice Dillon workshop. At sixteen years of age, he exhibited at the Salon de la Société des Artistes.  During his military service he met Georges Leroux. At the world fair in 1900, he was commissioned several works, including a 100 meters long big cat frieze. In 1914 he was enlisted and became a photographer for the Eastern Army. He kept on painting and, protected by Alexandra of Serbia, he met the European elite, and enlarged his customer base. His exhibition in Athens was a huge success. After the war, he went back to France and was awarded the French Legion of Honor in 1920.  Still inspired by Asia and Africa wildlife, he exhibited at the Arts Décoratifs World Fair in 1925 and won a medal. During WWII he worked and exhibited in Paris and Marseilles. In 1945 he became a member of the Academy of Beaux-Arts. He died in 1973.