Dessin n°4Crépin, Joseph
dessin n°4, 1939
coloured pencil on paper
32 x 24 cm
© photo credit
Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne
Crépin, Fleury-Joseph (1875-1948), France
BiographyFleury-Joseph Crépin, known as Joseph Crépin, was born at Hénin-Liétard in northern France. He did various jobs before running his own ironmonger’s shop. In 1930 he was initiated into spiritualism and at the age of 56 became a healer: he worked with the aid of his hands and used his watch as a pendulum.
Seven years later he produced his first compositions, convinced that he owed his inspiration to his guardian angels. He went on to paint 345 oils on canvas, all numbered and dated. Many of the inhabitants of his region believed that these were imbued with a magical power. Based on the principle of symmetry, the paintings depict temples seen in his dreams according to a technique that is specific to him: drops of paint punctuate the entire picture, giving a relief effect to the flat surfaces of colour.
Joseph Crépin was convinced that the Second World War would come to an end when he had painted his 300th picture, which turned out to be the case: the work in question is dated 7 May 1945. Joseph Crépin’s production would be cited as an example by the Surrealists.