Bernard Lamotte ~ Cityscapes and Figurative Works


Paris-born Lamotte (1903-1983) attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the Sorbonne. These selected paintings and drawings are studies for larger works and reflections of daily life in France. There are several scenes of rainy city streets. “Rainy Street Scene” in ink and watercolor depicting people with umbrellas and baby carriages. “Rainy Street Scene II,” an ink and wash on paper, shows a less populated street in tones of grey, white, and black. In contrast, “Rainy City Street” is a near-abstract oil on canvas attached to board and shows a glistening wet street with pedestrians gathered on a sidewalk under their umbrellas.


“Carriage in Evening” in ink, pencil, and wash is a study in grey and black illuminated by  a carriage lantern, while “Lamplighter” in ink, conte (a hard crayon) , and watercolor evokes an earlier hour in the evening with a lamplighter high on a ladder lighting a tall street lantern.  “Marketplace,” an oil on panel, is a near abstract scene of figures with packages balanced on their heads and a WWII amputee walking with a cane in the foreground of a crowded street market.

Other scenes include “Two Riders on Horseback,” a delicate watercolor in sepia; “On the Water,” an oil on board depicting sailboats, rowboats, and fishing boats on the river; “Windmill In Montmartre,” an oil on canvas, and “Boulevard and Bridge,” an oil on board of a wide, tree-lined street along the river with a bridge in the background.

Lamotte’s figurative works are portraits. “Sleeping Woman,” an oil, is a closeup of a woman’s face as she sleeps cocooned in white sheets and a pillow. “Two Figures,” an ink and watercolor in tones of grey, white, and black of two people in profile. “Mother and Child,” a watercolor on paper in tones of dark blue shows a mother holding a child, its white clothing in relief against the dark blue.

“Smoking a Pipe” is a profile of a man in shades of grey in ink and watercolor. Similarly, “Portrait of a Man with a Hat,” in dark grey ink and watercolor, is an image of the man’s face turned toward the viewer, with the dark tones on his hat and face in contrast to his white clothing. In “Young Child” in grey ink and wash, the child’s face is illuminated against the dark tones that envelope the face.  In contrast, in “Portrait of a Young Woman” in delicate lines of sepia, a young woman gazes at us with an enigmatic expression.