Charles Camoin French, 1879-1965


Charles Camoin was born on 23 September 1879 in Marseille where he attended both the École de Commerce and the École des Beaux-Arts. In May of 1898 Camoin moved to Paris and entered the studio of Gustave Moreau at the École des Beaux- Arts shortly before the legendary artist's death. Under the tutelage of Moreau Camoin learned to work in a variety of different genres. During his time at Moreau's studio Camoin formed several lasting friendships with fellow students Albert Marquet, Henri Manguin, Jean Puy, Georges Rouault, and especially Henri Matisse. From 1900 to 1902 Camoin entered the military service where he continued to paint and during which time he met Paul Cézanne at Aix-en-Provence and visited the locales in Arles which Vincent Van Gogh painted.

Upon his return from the service Camoin, armed with a strong network of influential friends and a quickly blossoming future, exhibited for the first time at the Salon des Artistes Indepéndants in 1903. By 1904 he had his first solo exhibition in Paris at the Galerie Berthe Weill.


Shortly afterwards Henri Matisse, along with his friends who numbered Camoin, Henri Manguin, Albert Marquet, Georges Rouault, André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck, and Kees van Dongen, formed the original group mockingly labeled The Fauves (the wild beasts) for their wild, expressionist use of color and their general refusal to paint like anyone else then showing at the salons. Camoin and these other Fauvist artists were primarily interested in using a heightened color palette and a broader brushstroke as their means of expressing the feeling or emotion of their subject. In 1905 Camoin was part of the "cage aux fauves" at the Salon d'Automne, exhibiting alongside Matisse and André Derain. However, the public was not receptive to their high-keyed canvases, even though Vauxcelles, reviewing the Fauves room at the 1905 Salon d'Automne, commented that Camoin "composes pictures overflowing with healthy, sturdy vigor," and achieves "bold, confident contrasts." By the 1906 Salon des Indépendants, the public, critics, and dealers alike began to hold the works of Matisse and his followers in higher esteem.


During his lifetime Camoin was considered a practitioner of both the Post Impressionist and the Fauvist style of painting, although he never truly and fully adhered to the style of Fauvism or Post Impressionism. Rather he seemed to achieve a balance between the two. Camoin always remained close to Matisse whose portrait he painted and which is in the permanent collection of the Pompidou Museum in Paris, but he also came to admire Cezanne, Renoir, and Bonnard.


Camoin was honored with three retrospective exhibitions during his lifetime and participated in the historic Armory Show in New York City in 1913. In 1955 he was awarded the Prix du President de la Rupublique at the Biennale of Menton. After his death in 1965 Camoin was represented in a large Fauvist exhibition that traveled to Tokyo, Paris, Munich, and Malines and was also exhibited in several posthumous solo shows.



1er prix de la Biennale de Menton, 1955

Officier de la Légion d'Honneur, 1955

Commandeur des Arts et Lettres, 1959



Indépendants, 1903, 1906, 1907

Salon d'Automne, 1904, 1905, 1906

Galerie Berthe Weill, 1904

Armory Show, 1913, New York City

Musée de Rouen, retrospective, 1931

Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris, retrospective, 1952

Galerie Marcel Bernheim, Paris, Retrospective Camoin, June - July 1958

Chicago Art Institute, Retrospective, 1960

New York, 1961

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille, posthumous Retrospective, 1966


Museums and Public Collections

Art Institute of Chicago

Centre Georges Pompidou

Dallas Museum of Art, Texas


Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana

Le Harve

Louvre-Réserves, Paris


Musée Chéret, Nice

Musée d'Aix-en-Provence

Musée de l'Annonciade, Saint Tropez

Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Toulon

Musée de Grenoble

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Alger

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Boulogne-sur-mer

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Draguignan

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nice

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Quimper

Musée de la Castre, Cannes

Musée Fabre, Montpellier

Musée Fragonard, Grasse

Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence                        

Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi

Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Musée Municipal d'Art Moderne

Musée Nationale d'Art Moderne, Paris

Musée de Sydney

Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico

National Gallery Schloss Charlottenbourg, Berlin           

Palais Longchamp, Marseille

Petit-Palais, Genéve

State Museum, Bonn

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid

Request information

Please notify me when works by Charles Camoin become available.