Thann, Alsace, 28 Nov 1863; d Brest, 11 Jan 1928.
French painter and engraver. He
studied in Paris at the Académie Colarossi. He settled in Brittany in 1889, where he was
associated with Gauguin and his circle at Pont-Aven, but he remained a mystic and a
recluse. The Breton setting, with its stark landscape and devout peasant inhabitants,
provided fertile ground for the development of Filigers mystical imagery and
deliberate archaisms. Filigers friend, the painter Emile Bernard, characterized
Filigers style as an amalgam of Byzantine and Breton popular art forms. The
hieratic, geometric quality and the expressionless faces in his gouaches of sacred
subjects such as Virgin and Child (1892; New York, A. G. Altschul priv. col.)
reveal Filigers love of early Italian painting and the Byzantine tradition.
Evident too in the heavy outlines and flat colours of his work are the cloisonnism of the
Pont-Aven school and the influence of Breton and Epinal popular prints. Filigers
landscapes, such as Breton Shore (1893; New York, A. G. Altschul priv. col.), share
with Gauguins paintings an abstract, decorative quality and rigorous simplification.