Haitian painter and draughtsman. He was introduced to the Centre dArt in Port-au-Prince by Hector Hippolyte, his neighbour at the time, when he was only 15; his seriousness and tenacity were already apparent. From the first his drawings were densely detailed. Working towards a mastery of colour as well as an illusion of volume modelled in light and dark, Bigaud demonstrated a mature command of his art in the great Terrestrial Paradise (1952; Port-au-Prince, Mus. A. Haït.), painted when he was just 21. He has been called a popular realist, as he delighted in the festivals of carnival and Rara, representing them in full action and colourful detail. His Self-portrait in the Carnival Costume of the Fancy Indian (WI, Flagg priv. col.) demonstrates his love for lush detail and the golden colours that suffuse many of his paintings. His genre scenes are material rather than dreamlike, solid and respectful of the limitations of naturalism. The ritual and mystery of Vodoun are presented as he observed them in reality. His masterpiece in Ste Trinité Episcopal Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, the Marriage at Cana, anthologizes many of the themes he had treated previously and introduces numerous details of Vodoun ritual into the Christian subject. Between 1957 and 1961 Bigaud suffered a series of breakdowns that affected his work, but he continued to paint in his little house in Petit-Goâve.
Washing in the River
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