No, the Ecole de La Charité does not claim to be avant-garde, nor does its preferred technique - traditional tempera - lend itself to it. For its four representatives, it is much more a question of making "beautiful images", and why, even in the age of contemporary art, should they be ashamed of this?
The School of La Charité shows us the two fundamental aspects of figurative painting, i.e. the first, very meticulously realistic with a marked preference for snowy winter landscapes, somewhat in the manner of Bruegel, and the other, more singular, which leaves room for the imagination, even spirituality.
In talking to Paul Schuss, a professional artist, well represented by a large Parisian "right bank" gallery, I was surprised to realise how little interaction and recognition there is between the right bank and left bank galleries and, to put it simply, between the private market on the one hand and the institutional market on the other, between painting and non-painting.
André Kraemer wrote in December 1966 about the exhibition of Pierre Dancette and Michel Beszié at the Galerie 32, rue de l'Oratoire in Nevers:
"From the first glance, an impression was imposed on the mind: that of having in front of you works, not of two painters, but of one. The same precise view of nature. The same concern for finesse in a tendency and in the formats evoking Japanese art. An identical view of nature, whose details become precious and demand to be fixed as in an unalterable enamel. This community of inspiration and technique is explained: Michel Beszié and Pierre Dancette are both students of Drachkovitch. Both are from Charitois and their night work at the psychiatric hospital allows them to exchange ideas leading to a common poetic world.
Group Bulletin, Summer 1967 - Visit to the 5th Spring Exhibition. "I cannot forget the School of La Charité, the Albert Drachkovitch-Thomas workshop, which offers us the undeniable attraction of the painters of reality with Emma Beaussillon (through the old acacias), Michel Beszié (the old village; the setting sun), Paul Schuss (the evening), Pierre Dancette seems to be closer to Franchi or Jean-Pierre Alaux. It is therefore neither satisfied nor disappointed that I left Chapelle Sainte- Marie. Maurice Rameau.
Yes, this is the era of social levelling, the dialectics of specialists and "interested parties" are in collusion to make us swallow pearls and snakes.
Pestalozzi is as good as Picasso... Harmony, philharmony!
The criteria remain vague as in the dance of the Seven Veils of Salome, vague and infinitely extensible, and the reasons that one can give to a work, to be beautiful or uninteresting, are interchangeable
Can you imagine, then, in what spirit a painter of today must work?
The amount of solicitude and indifference he needs to remain unperturbed, his faith and the immense humility he needs?
So here is the famous Tower, all in ivory: "do well and let it be said" must be the motto inscribed on the mat of its narrow door!
Drachkovitch, the painter, Editions De Belloire 2007
Tempera: tempera or egg tempera refers to any paint who’s thinner is water. The binder can be a gum, glue, egg yolk, casein...
This technique, used until the end of the 15th century, was supplanted by oil painting.
Source: Marc Verat