Dries seen by those who knew him

Maurice VLAMINCK 1876-1958, fauvist painter
In 1936, dialogue between Vlaminck, Dries, and one of their friends, a doctor, in La Tourrillière (department of Eure-et-Loire)
« __ and what does he do?
__ he paints
__ you know, just between us, paintings are nothing but bogs for bugs ! If you have something with you, I can always have a look!… But too bad for you if it’s not good!
__ not bad his carp, you are a painter! »
Extract from the “Carnet Bleu” (“the blue sketchbook”), published in 1983. Bar-le-Duc Museum..

André LEMAITRE 1909-1995, Norman Painter
« The greatest painter of the Seine estuary »
Artistes contemporains en Basse-Normandie 1945-2005 p317. Conseil Général du Calvados. Direction des Archives Départementales.

DANIEL-ROPS 1901-1965, writer, member of the French Academy
« The one who had known how to find the fluidities of watercolour shows us the transparency of the skies of Provence, courageously building the tree trunks, loading his palette, he submits to the model but then actually submits to his instinct. »
L’Art et les artistes. Quoted in Jean Dries. Ed. Junès. 1979.

Pascal JARDIN 1934-1980, writer and film director
« In January 1940, I was six years old… In their huge studio, I slept at the end of their bed in a camp bed, assuring my host that I liked his wife for her charm. It was the beginning of an endless tenderness between me and them, that neither time, nor absence, nor death should modify. »
August 2nd, 1979. Quoted in Jean Dries. Ed. Junès. 1979

Fernand LEDOUX 1897-1993, theatre and cinema actor
« Dries’s works are a fortunate encounter between an instinct of a generous strength and a clear reason of order and balance. In art as in life, everything is a gateway from shadow to light. Anxiety, research but also discovery, enthusiasm, grace and faith. “The eye is listening” as Claudel said. You can see a Dries’s painting, look at it, but you also have to listen to what it tells you and what it gives you so fully. »
1955. Quoted in Jean Dries. Catalogue of Dries’s works in the Eugène Boudin Museum

Clément ROSSET, philosopher
« The privilege of the painter is to sometimes make perceptible the singularity of every existing thing, its strangeness and its loneliness. »
1979. Quoted in Jean Dries. Ed. Junès. 1979

Marcel LIABASTRE, former mayor of Honfleur
« You know that it was always painful to Jean Dries to part from his paintings. One night in Prêteville, it took the warmth of a good dinner and that of friendship to have him consent to let my brother have four delicious little paintings. And still he asked him to keep them for the museum when he couldn’t enjoy the sight of them anymore. »
Quoted in Jean Dries. Catalogue of Dries’s works in the Eugène Boudin Museum. Honfleur. 1979

Jeanine WARNOD, art critic
« Jean Dries imposed upon people because he was strongly built, had a red beard and maintained a high bearing. But his eyes expressed so much sweetness that all his exterior strength would turn into tenderness as soon as you approached him. I remember a man full of secrets, but his serene aspect was deceiving. This “fauvist Cézanne” presented his paintings in Honfleur as early as 1934. He was the one who brought together for the first time the artists wishing to have their “salon”. Curator of the Eugène Boudin Museum, he will not have time to inaugurate the new museum, transformed and refurbished in 1973-1974 thanks to Jeanne Schlumberger’s generosity. »
Honfleur, un siècle de peinture. Société des Artistes Honfleurais. 2001.

Yves LESCROART, general inspector of the French historic buildings, (former curator of the Eugène Boudin Museum)
About the construction of the new building for the Eugène Boudin Museum in Honfleur. “Dries brings the first elements of the programme, which is approved of by the Department of French Museums. But already very weakened, he does not feel strong enough to supervise this heavy task all by himself: the same year, he manages to create a position for an assistant curator. The latter will assist him in his ultimate mission, will take on the last finalizing of the project. Refurbishment begins as early as 1972 and Dries can, to his great joy, visit the building site of the new museum in the early winter. He will not see it finished… »
Extract from an article of the review: “le Pays d’Auge” page 30. July-August 2005.

Sébastien DRIESBACH, the artist’s son
« Childhood memories often leave impressions that cannot be erased. Thus, as a painter’s son, I keep the memory of long sittings, to paint my portrait, or rather my portraits. These were so long, that in the end, when I grew up, my father would only represent me from the back or asleep, sketched as I was having a nap. »
Extract from an article of the review: “le Pays d’Auge” page 30. July-August 2005.

Gabriel JARDIN, a friend of the family
« What immediately comes to my mind as soon as I evoke his name is the beauty and harmony of his calm gestures, which were closely linked to his work. As a child, and later as a teenager, I would watch him, in his studio at rue Bucaille in Honfleur, open a drawer to take a Canson sheet of paper, grasp it with a cautiousness totally deprived of clumsiness, cast a demanding eye on it before adjusting it to the easel and taking his carefully prepared pencil with a firm hand. I was fascinating by the sweet slowness I witnessed in his movements. It was obvious that he had a huge respect for that sheet of paper, even before laying his mark on it. »
Extract from the presentation leaflet on the exhibition of the summer 2005. Eugène Boudin Museum. Honfleur.

Luc VERDIER, gallery owner. Arthur Boudin Gallery, Honfleur
« Look at l’Autoportrait au béret basque of 1945, Honfleur, Paysage dans la colline of 1947, or Henriette au chandail jaune of 1947, and compare them to the works that our young contemporary artists painted in the eighties. Take, for instance, the portraits of Marilyn Monroe painted and serigraphed by Andy Warhol, and you’ll be surprised by Dries’ modernity. »
Extract from Dries, l’Univers d’un peintre.