Alfred Manessier, French (1911 - 1993)

Alfred Manessier was a non-figurative French painter and part of the new Paris School and the Salon de Mai. In 1929 he moved to Paris, where he registered to study architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, although he did not complete the course. He made copies of Old Master paintings at the Louvre and frequented the Academies Libres.

At the Academie Ranson in 1935 he met Roger Bissiere, who was teaching there, and became friendly with a small group of his students: Jean Le Moal (b 1909), Jean Bertholle (b 1909) and the sculptor Etienne-Martin. He exhibited for the first time with them in 1938 at the Galerie Breteau in Paris. In 1943 he went on a Trappist retreat and became a believer, an event that was to leave its mark on all his work. He executed several commissions for stained-glass windows for churches in France and abroad, in 1948-50 at the church at Breseux, Doubs; in 1953 at the church of St-Pierre, Trinquetaille, Arles; in 1957 at the Chapel of Sainte-Therese de l'Infant Jesus et de la Sainte Face, Hem, Nord (for which he also designed a Benediction cape and five chasubles in 1957 and 1958-9), and in All Saints church, Basle (1952).

Part of the Association of Revolutionary Writers and Artists during the 1930s, his works include a 1976 stained glass window at Saint-Bénigne church in Pontarlier along with paintings now in the Collection of Modern Religious Art, Vatican Museums and the Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon.

He was the victim of a car accident in Loiret on 28 July 1993, and died the following 1 August at the Source hospital in Orléans. His funeral was held at the church of Saint-Sépulcre d'Abbeville and he was buried in the Cimetière de Saint-Ouen at his birthplace.

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