Bernard Cathelin 1919-2004, French painter, was born in Paris in 1919. Throughout his life, he has maintained a deep-rooted love for his country and especially for the Drôme, from where his mother came. His mother, Madeleine Terrail, was born in the family property of Les Rebattières which has been in the family for several generations. The Musée de Valence dedicated him a retrospective of his work in the summer of 1997. This exhibition by drewing local and worldwide visitors established a new frequentation record for the museum. In 2000, the Shanghai Art Museum in China organised a retrospective exhibition presenting 40 years of Bernard Cathelin’s works. Bernard Cathelin died out on April 17 2004, but great exhibitions are always dedicated to him in France, while others are in preparation across the world.
Cathelin’s painterly sensibilities distinguished him among his peers in a generation where painting became less an art than a process. His international appeal is in part due to the energy and vitality seen throughout his work, which is recognized for its' strength, simplicity and sincerity, and characterized by purity and potency. Icon-like in form, it possesses a subtle richness which is conveyed through texture and colour. Cathelin’s canvases present a radiant synthesis of life and art. It is the passionate sensibility of the artist that emerges from the canvas to capture the viewer’s attention, resulting in dynamic images, where landscapes are not stationary and models are not still. Cathelin is also a master lithographer having worked for over 30 years at the Mourlet Atelier in Paris beside such contemporaries as Chagall and Picasso. A three volumne catalog raisonne documents his achievements and works from the 60's through the early 2000's.