Son of an affluent family, Raymond Thibesart was born in Troyes (France), on May 2, 1874. Soon after his parents moved their residence to the city of Enghien, in close proximity to Paris. It was there where the Thibesarts met the Boggios, an agreeable and large Venezuelan family who just arrived in France. Very gifted in drawing, Thibesart admired Emile Boggio, 17 years his senior, who gave him his first lessons when he was 11 years old. Emile Boggio, the great Venezuelan Impressionist* master, became Thibesart's first art teacher.
Thibesart began his official studies at the Lycée Rollin in Paris and entered the l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts* in 1894 and later the Acadèmie Julian*. His teachers Jules Lefevre and Tony Robert Fleury, introduced him to the movement of Symbolism*, which influenced the early part of the artist's career.
When Boggio settled in 1902 in Vaux-sur-Seine, Raymond Thibesart followed him and in 1903 built an important house. They traveled to Italy to paint with another friend, the painter Henri Martin. From this time on, Thibesart worked in the Post-Impressionist* style. He often traveled to Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Corsica to record the landscape. Without rest and with great enthusiasm he sketched in pastel* the light, the passage of the wind, the flowering trees, the mornings of white frost or snow, the agricultural work, and the aura of the Seine. In the tranquility of his workshop, these colored chalk drawings allowed him to execute oil paintings that preserved all the spontaneity of the subject with a touch of something more.
A very sensible painter and a great talent, he was very generous to all those who surrounded him. As he did not have economic problems, it is possible to say that painting was his life. Surrounded by little publicity, he created a very complete body of work with great artistic value. Sundays were not for him day of rest. He was so fanatical about painting that Boggio once had to hit him with his hat during a trip to Italy because he was still painting instead of packing his suitcase when it was time to take the train to return.
Very traumatized by the death of Boggio in 1920, Thibesart helped organized a great retrospective at the Galerie Georges Petit in 1925 dedicated to the Venezuelan master.
For nearly seventy years, Raymond Thibesart carried out his work in a perfect, familiar balance. At the age of ninety-two, he lost his vision and was forced to stop painting. He died two years later in 1968 at the age of ninety-four.
Wally Findlay Galleries