Clovis Trouille  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Camille Clovis Trouille, was born on 24 October 1889, in Amiens, France. He worked as Sunday painter and a restorer and decorator of department store mannequins, and trained at the École des Beaux-Arts from 1905 to 1910. He died on 24 September 1975 in Paris. His themes were anti-clericalism and eroticism.



  • His service in World War I gave him a lifelong hatred of the military, expressed in his first major painting Remembrance (1931). The painting depicts a pair of wraith-like soldiers clutching white rabbits, an airborne female contortionist throwing a handful of medals, and the whole scene being blessed by a cross-dressing cardinal.

This contempt for the church as a corrupt institution provided Trouille with the inspiration for decades of pictorial blasphemies including 1944's

  • Dialogue at the Carmel shows a skull wearing a crown of thorns being used as an ornament.
  • The Mummy shows a mummified woman coming to life as a result of a shaft of light falling on a large bust of André Breton.
  • The Magician (1944) has a self-portrait satisfying a group of swooning women with a wave of his magician's wand.
  • My Tomb (1947) shows Trouille's tomb as a focal point of corruption and depravity in a graveyard.
  • Trouille's other common subjects were sex, as shown in Lust (1959), a portrait of the Marquis de Sade sitting in the foreground of a landscape decorated with a tableau of various perversions, and a "madly egoistic bravado" employed as self-satirism.
  • His portrait of a reclining nude shown from behind entitled Oh! Calcutta, Calcutta! - a pun in French - was chosen as the title for the 1969 musical revue. (The French phrase "oh quel cul t'as" translates roughly as "oh what a lovely backside you have".)


After his work was seen by Louis Aragon and Salvador Dalí, Trouille was declared a Surrealist by André Breton - a label Trouille accepted only as a way of gaining exposure, not having any real sympathy with the Surrealism movement.

The simple style and lurid colouring of Trouille's paintings echo the lithographic posters used in advertising in the first half of the 20th Century.


Clovis Trouille


  • Parcours à travers l'œuvre de Clovis Trouille 1889 - 1975

Clovis Prévost

Actes Sud - Edition Bernard Légier

Langue: Français

ISBN 2-7427-4476-2

  • Clovis Trouille

Texte et documentation par Jean-Marc Campagne avec une analyse graphologique par le docteur Rivere.

Editeur : Jean-Jacques Pauvert

Parution : 1965 / Nombre de pages : 146 / Langue: Français

  • Correspondance à Maurice Rapin

Trouille, Clovis

Éditeur: Didier Devillez

Avant-gardes / Littérature / Beaux-arts / 2001

Format: 22 x 15 cm / Broché / 128 pages / Langue: Français

ISBN 2-87396-047-7

  • Correspondances

de Clovis Trouille, Gérard Lattier

Langue: Français Éditeur : Actes Sud (1 mars 2004)

Format : Broché - 44 pages

ISBN 2-7427-4934-9

  • Fabrice Flahutez, Sylvie Couderc, Clovis Trouille: Un peintre libre et iconoclaste, éd. Musée de Picardie / Amiens Métropôple, 2007.

Langue: Français Éditeur : (mai 2007)

ISBN 978-2-908095-37-1

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Clovis Trouille" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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