To say that fanatical anarchist and painter Clovis Trouille was severely under-rated during his heyday is an understatement. A contemporary of Salvador Dalí, Trouille was officially declared a member of the Surrealist art movement by its founder André Breton.
Whilst Trouille didn’t identify with the movement himself, he was smart enough to accept the accolade knowing that it would only increase the value and exposure of his work.
His paintings are instantly recognizable by their lurid sex scenes and vibrant colour palette. Many of them echoed the lithographic posters used in advertising in the first half of the 20th century.
Trouille wasn’t always able to fund his lifestyle through his art, he only started painting professionally in his early 40s. Until that time he had spent the majority of his working life as a restorer and decorator of department store mannequins (including serving time under severe duress in the military during the WW1)
Once he took his first few steps into the art world by painting ‘Remembrance’ 1930, he never looked back. He was fiercely anti-establishment, a consistent theme that carried throughout the majority of his work.
Police, government officials and religious leaders regularly featured in his paintings – often partaking in sordid and nefarious scenes. Look closely and you’ll even notice several underlying BDSM undertones in among his depictions of naughty nuns and vampiric lust.
Indeed, he titled one of his works “O quel cul t’as!” which is French for “What an ass you have!” (it’s number 9 on the list).
Below is a selection of his most controversial and iconic works, you can find out more about the fascinating story of Clovis Trouille right here.
1. Dialogue au Carmel
2. Monastic Dream
3. Clovis Trouille Mon tombeau
4. Dialogue au Carmel
5. La palais des marveilles
6. Religieuse italienne fumant la cigarette
7. Le Reve Vampir.
8. Stigma Diaboli
9. Oh! Calcutta, Calcutta!
10. La centauresse