Saturday, July 11, 2015

Auguste Metgé

Auguste Metgé (1883 – 1970) came from a line of cabinet makers and carpenters, well known in Sorèze (France). Auguste followed the sculpture course at the School of Fine Arts in Toulouse from 1899 to 1903 and shows to be a brilliant student.
After his graduation he could have chosen for a career in the big city, quickly building up a reputation, but instead he chose to remain in Sorèze, believing that contacts with other artists would prevent him to develop his art freely.   
Auguste Metgé works as a cabinetmaker, restaurateur and also as a skilled designer, always wearing a beret and the long linen blouse that became his trademark “uniform”.
In 1910 he exhibited at the Paris Salon for the first time.
On the death of his father, Auguste became the boss of the woodworking shop. It stays very simple, it’s the customers that make the workshop famous.
Although the art of furniture making is his main activity, he does not abandon sculpture, working with clay and bronze.
During the First World War, he was assigned to the 42nd Colonial Regiment, first asl Corporal and later Sergeant. Having seen many colleagues fall, he gets wounded himself during the Battle of Verdun Vauquois in 1915. “They were atrocious, the Germans and the French”.
After the war of 1914-1918, he made various memorials. He refused to establish a hierarchy among the arts, for him a well-made piece of furniture was also a work of art.... He had no liking for modern art, remaining faithful to the art of furniture, in a sort of frenzied academic way. Auguste famously said: "a Picasso…, I'd make ten in a day".
In 1970, at the age of 87 years, Auguste Metgé dies in his sleep.

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