Widely considered as the greatest designer and painter of the 1930’s, Paul JOUVE (1878-1973), son of portraitist and landscaper Auguste Jouve (a close friend to both Theo and Vincent Van Gogh), grew up in a profoundly artistic environment. Encouraged by his father to visit the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, he comes back having discovered a new passion for animals and especially large cats.

At the astonishing age of 13, Jouve joins the ‘Ecole des Arts Décoratifs’ of Paris but this type of academic training does not suit him and he then turns to the ‘Ecole des Beaux-Arts’ where he completes his courses.
In the Studio of Henri Patrice Dillon, he gets initiated to both engraving and lithography. Jouve draws his inspiration amongst the beasts of the Jardin des Plantes, the Museum of Natural History but also from the horses’ market as well as from slaughterhouses.

At age 15, Jouve participates for the first time at the French Artists Salon by exhibiting a drawing and two lithographs “Lions d’Abyssini” and “Lions de Ménélik”, both works were acclaimed by the critics of the time.
On the occasion of the World Expo of 1900, Jouve takes part in the decoration of a monumental gate, the centrepiece of the event, under the direction of architect René Binet.
Like his fellow contemporary animalier Artists, Jouve enjoys touring the European zoos, he especially frequents the one in Antwerp, where he befriends Rembrandt Bugatti; bonding through their mutual passion on the subject of animals.

1907 marks the beginning of a long series of travels for Jouve. He receives a scholarship from the ‘Société des Orientalistes Français’ and becomes one of the residents of the Villa Abd-el-Tif in Alger. This first encounter with the East will strongly impregnate his whole Work.
By now a renowned artist, the ‘Société du Livre Contemporain’ commissions Jouve the illustration of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”, which they would edit a few years later in 1920. The realistic quality of Jouve’s strong and sophisticated drawings as well as limiting the production of the edition to only 125 copies, made the book one of the most sought after at the time and remains still nowadays.

Enlisted to the army in 1914, after surviving his battles in the northern frontier, his regiment finds itself in Thessaloniki at the eastern front. There he finds his friend Gaston Suisse. From the countries he tours with his regiment, he brings back several drawings, testimonies on the horror of battlefields as well as the beauty of the foreign landscapes.
A tireless traveller, Jouve reaches the Far East, crossing the borders of China and Indochina. He depicts the Jungle and Angkor’s temples and then leaves to explore West Africa.

Upon his return to Paris, he paints two outstanding canvases for the decoration of the Normandie cruiser: “Tigres Royaux” and “Eléphants sacrés de Hué”, tributes to his past travels.
Taking part in numerous Parisian salons and being a key member of the prestigious “Groupe de Douze” created by François Pompon, Jouve’s reputation cements itself alongside the great artists of his lifetime.
An Amazing Animalier painter, his prolific Art Deco style work is still strongly sought after by art collectors.

Paul JOUVE was definitely a pioneer of the Animal stylisation, his work has deeply influenced a number of renowned artists during his era.


2020.01.24 – 2020.02.29
38 rue de l’Université - 75007 Paris
2018.09.22 – 2018.10.12
Galerie Dumonteil Paris