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Raphael Pricert, Ambassador of the French Painting 1949-1962

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In 1949 Raphael Pricert goes to the United States. From June 6 to June 25, he exhibits at the « Associated American Artists » with twenty five paintings in the two large rooms he is allocated. He receives collectors, happy to discover a painter of the « French School ». He is given orders for portraits. With four of his paintings, he enters the collection Natan Cummings.

In 1950 Raphael Pricert travels around Italy and Sweden. He exhibits in Orebro (Sweden) in November 1950 at Gallery Vallins ‘Vallins Konsthall’ with paintings of Paris and Venice and also compositions and still-lives. This exhibition is introduced by the poet Marc Chesneau who compares him to the old time bards who travelled around the provinces singing the joys of life and the beauty of love . He sells many paintings. He paints portraits and snow landscapes with many of sold on the spot.

In 1951 after a short stay in Vence, he returns to Stockholm (Sweden), and exhibits French and Italian landscapes in April at the Wellamson Konstgalleri – sponsored by the Ambassador to Sweden, the Comte de Dampierre. He is so successful that the town of Gavle in North Sweden, invites Rapahel Pricert to display his works to the public in the Town Hall.

In 1952 Abe Saperstein, the director of the « Harlem Globe-trotters », the famous American basket ball team, meets him in Paris and visits his artist studio.He orders his own  portrait as well as the portraits of all the players in his team. He is enthusiastic and invites him to exhibit in Chicago, promising to introduce him to the best art galleries.

In 1953  Raphael Pricert returns to the USA in March to have an exhibition at the Gallery Frank J. Oelschlaeger. The day before the ‘vernissage’ (opening), he writes to his wife who had remained in Paris, that he has already received orders, and that the exhibition looks promising. He displays about 40 paintings of France, Italy, Spain along with a few water colours. He enjoys immediate success. His catalogue listing is covered with « sold » signs. The Chicago Daily Tribune writes three articles about Raphael Pricert and he is also interviewed on television.

Directors of the University of Galesburg (Illinois) who later become close friends, invite him to exhibit his works at the Civil Art League – the following month. He is even selected as one of the three members of a painting jury at Knox College in that town.

When back in Europe, he travels again around the South of France and Italy : to Verona, Sienna, Venice etc. as he did almost each year. He is fascinated by Venice. In 1959 he tells a journalist who is inteviewing him, that he has been to Italy 17 times.

In 1954, he returns to the USA : In February  he exhibits in Saint Louis (Missouri) at the Noonan-Kocian Gallery, and the Missouri Athletic Sports Club buys one of his large Montmartre paintings.

In March, he returns to Chicago and exhibits at the Gallery Frank J Oelschlaeger and is as successful as the previous year. The business man David Freeman who becomes a close friend, buys a very large painting of Piazza San Marco in Venice.

In April and May, he is a Los Angeles at the Gallery Francis Lynch, to show landscapes and compositions, along with a large series of portraits of Hollywood stars, from Terry Moore to Gaby Bruyère.

This tour of America ends with another exhibition in Galesbourg.

In 1955 he is back in the United States in March and exhibits in San Francisco at the Maxwell Gallery, where he shows works from the South of France and in Sweden. He is interviewed by a famous TV presentator (Channel four). He takes advantage of this visit to paint the town and its picturesque characters. He receives orders for portraits. Many press articles are written about the portrait he does of Rocky Macciano, the world boxing champion.

From May to July, he first exhibits in Boston at the G. Gastiano Galleries, and later at the Johnson Galleries in Chicago.

Back in France, he opens his Art studio and exhibits his paintings from America, Italy and Provence.

In 1956 Raphael Pricert exhibits in March at Vallins Konsthall in Orebro, Sweden. He loves this country and the people, and rapidly learns their language. He also exhibits in Stockholm at the Stranswagen.

From May to July, he is in London at the Walkers Gallery (the Whistler Gallery) where he exhibits landscapes of Paris, Italy and Sweden (oils and watercolors). The Bank of England honours him with a purchase of his works.

Then he visits Israel shortly before the Six Day war which obliges him to prolong his stay. He paints many oils and water colors from Safed to Lake Tiberiad, Saint Jean d’Acre and the Yemenit villages. These works later exhibited in Paris by the France-Israel Committee are a great success. The Israeli Embassy buys one of his major paintings.

In 1957 Raphael Pricert exhibits in Chicago from May to July and then later in New York.

In 1958 he puts on another exhibition in February in Orebro (Sweden) at the Vallins Konsthall showing Italian landscapes : the Golf of Genoa, the Lake of Garda, etc.) along with portraits and compositions. He is selected by the Jansonne Jury.

In April 1959 he exhibits at the Zak Gallery with the Association of Jewish Artists, and then later in London  where he paints several portraits. The Arts Critic of the Nouvelles Littéraires, Maximilien Gauthier writes his monograph illustrated with numerous paintings.

In 1960 Raphael Pricert returns yet again to the United States early in the year., starting with an exhibition in Miami at the Huber Gallery . During his stay he is asked by an art school to lecture the students about his approach of Art and about his techniques.

In February, he exhibits in New York  at the Selected Artists Gallery, and finally in Chacago in a suite of the Drake Hotel (where General De Gaulle stayed when he visited the city).

1961-1962 : End 1961 Raphael Pricert returns to New York in November and again exhibits at the Selected Artists Galleries. In February, he exhibits at the Huber Gallery in Miami.


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