Georges Mathieu: known for his emblematic French ten franc coin

Being an artist, in particular a painter, makes your soul immortal. Indeed, the proof is in the pudding; for some time now, the Georges Mathieu trend has been reappearing on the art and painting scene.

Who exactly is Georges Mathieu?

Born into a family of bankers, Georges Victor Mathieu d'Escaudoeuvres, known as Georges Mathieu, was a French painter born in Boulogne-sur-Mer on 27 January 1921 and died on 10 June 2012 in Boulogne-Billancourt. He began his career by studying law, literature and philosophy. In his early twenties, he began to work in the plastic arts (arts and crafts) and made his first oil paintings. Georges Mathieu is the French initiator of a non-figurative gestural painting called "Abstraction Lyrique" (lyrical abstraction).

The career of Georges Mathieu

Georges Mathieu had a successful career as an artist. His first exhibition took place in 1946 in Paris, at the Salon des Moins de Trente Ans (the under-thirty-year-olds’ exhibition). In the course of his brilliant career, he participated in 1947 in the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles and also in the 14th Salon des Surindépendants. In 1954, he began to create paintings during timed performances in front of an audience. In 1958, he wanted to create works in public, but he was prevented from doing so as he was in New York at the time. He was editor of the American magazine Lines Paris Review from 1953 to 1962. In 1963, the year of his "Grande Rétrospective" at the Musée d'Art Moderne in the French capital, the militant artist that Georges Mathieu was obtained official recognition. During 1968 and 1969, he participated in the creation of several gilded decorations which was very significant for the ceramics of the Sèvres Manufacture, and in particular the table services in Montreal for the 1967 World Fair and in Osaka for the 1970 World Fair. In 1973, his only architectural work came to light. It was commissioned by the industrialist Guy Biraud. From 1980 onwards, he broke with classicism and the central figure to vary his works. His collaboration with Rolf Lauter marked the beginning of a new era of maturity. This cooperation led to a major retrospective in Mannheim in 1980, reincarnating more than 60 works from 1944 to 1979.

Georges Mathieu and the ten franc coin

The Atelier Gravure de la Monnaie de Paris (engraving workshop of currency in Paris) designed the Mathieu ten-franc coin inspired by Georges Mathieu's design. This coin is a mix of copper-nickel with a diameter of 26 mm and a weight of 10 grams. The issue of 100 million copies of this coin has made it commonplace and among the most used by the French. Georges Mathieu was a true artist who contributed to a revolution in painting. His works were and are still the mark of a great man.

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