Self portrait

Constant Le Breton was born on 11 march 1895 into a family of Loire watermen at St Germain des Prés, a little village in Anjou. He started his career as an apprentice with a company of decorators first in Nantes, then in Le Mans before being admitted to the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris but was too poor to be able to continue the courses. Called up in 1915, he saw action at Gallipoli and later in Serbia. After the war, he settled in Paris as a wood-engraver and established a good reputation as a book illustrator. He was awarded a scholarship by the Blumenthal Foundation and quickly won a reputation for himself as a painter.

The friend of several artists, some older than him like Luce, Derain, Segonzac and some from his own generation like Antral, Belmondo, Brayer, he was hailed as a portrait painter. Among many others he painted Charles Dullin, Ingrid Bergmann, Béatrice Bretty. He did not, however, neglect the landscapes, still lifes or more elaborate compositions. These important works, painted with skill and feeling, give the impression of a well-balanced attitude towards life.

There is a large number of his paintings in museums in Paris. His portraits are in private collections in France, the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and the United Kingdom.

Constant Le Breton died in Paris in February 1985.