Paul Surtel

1893-1985

Berrichonne period- childhood

  • Paul Surtel peignantseptembre 30th 1893 : Paul Surtel was born in  Reuilly in the « grande maison du XVe siècle' , nowadays 'Café du Commerce'. His parents hold the coffee shop then settle down as
    managers of the 'Moulin de la Cour', as millers.
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  • 1899-1904 : Pupil  at  Reuilly Primary School.
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  • 1904-1907 : Pupil at Issoudun Secondary school,  15 km from Reuilly.
    It is during this period that Paul Surtel meets a friend of his father Marcel Surtel: Fernand
    Maillaud, whom he will call « his good teacher ».

Period of his adolescence and the war

  • 1907 : Pupil at the Charlemagne High School in Paris.Les Grand-mères
  • 1910-1914 : Paul Surtel lives at his parents' home in Dampmant and works in some offices.
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  • 1916-1917 : Stay at the barracks of Lyon
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  • 1917-1918 : Goes to the front

« I found here a sergeant - Jean Surtel - who is my cousin (our two fathers are first cousins). It is a big and strong guy, dark brown hair, cheerful as a carefree bird of the marmitage ».

  • 1917-1922 : Forest warden in the region of Hyères where his parents moved.

Périod of his first marriage

  • La Maison de l'artiste, Carpentras, 19731921 : Wedding with Dorothy Bonarjee.
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  • janvier 1922 : Denis's birth, his son, in Fréjus.
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  • 1922-1937 : (His life of) wine grower and painter in Jaubergue, near Gonfaron ( Var).

" Vines, I prefer them skinned, not only of their bunch of grapes, but of their foliage. I like them reduced to their winter skeleton, when they show  the painter the rhythms of their warm tones of the nourishing earth ».

  • 1924 : Denis's death, Claire-Arouna's birth, his daughter.
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  • 1936 : Split of his couple; stops  working the land.

" I shall not speak about our temporal life which seems out of breath ".

Périod of his second marriage

  • 1937 : Wedding in Oran with Elia Duc, Art teacher.

" I like your name - Elia - it evokes the women of the Bible. A whiteness at the edge of the fountain ».

  • 1945 : François's birth in Sisteron (Elia's assignment).Une noblesse sans hauteur... autoportrait à la chemise bleue. 1962

« When we live on the life by, in the middle of animals and  trees, in this peace and this happiness which seems to come from the bottom of ages, the madness of the world seems to you even more hideous ».

  • 1949 : Pierre's birth in Orange (Elia's assignment).
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  • 1949 : Jean's birth in Carpentras (in 1951, the family bought a house and some land in Carpentras
    where Elia had just been appointed).

« Eighty-three years old. I have taste and appetite in  things made by materials. I painted a lot (and better than never, as it is said to me). I do not enjoy. I work because it is my reason for being ».

  • 1985 : Paul Surtel's death.