Saturday, 4 February 2017




I dare say that no one reading this article will have ever heard of Claude Moreau, whose studio in Vézelay I sometimes used to visit when I lived in Burgundy, France. Sadly, few will ever get to know his work, as his paintings have all but disappeared from the internet since his death at the age of 65 on Christmas Day last year, following his wife's death earlier in the year. It would appear that he simply gave up on life after his wife's passing.



I must say at this juncture that I have no idea about Moreau's politics (which is inconsequential, in any case), as our brief conversations were restricted to the world of art, yet his works are firmly in the European tradition. They are a blend of fantasy and surrealism and the lanscapes contained therein mix fantasy and distinctly European farmlands. They also always contain certain European motifs, such as fragmented castles, whereby the towers, keeps and walls with battlements often drift off into the air in a wisp-like chain. It is a pity I cannot find my personal favourites of his acrylic paintings, "Le grand Echappe" and "Miss Bubblegum", which I think are among his most accomplished works.



 Moreau started life having trained as an electrical engineer, before taking up painting in his twenties, and was largely an autodictat. He then had regular exhibitions both in France and elsewhere in Europe, although his Eurocentrism and skilled technique would have made him anathema to the major galleries, hence he will, at least for the time being, remain an obscure figure. His major influences were the surrealists Magritte and Dali. Both he and his work will be missed.



  1. Hi there,
    I have been sat here thinking about Claude, and so I looked online, as I own two of his paintings and would have loved to have purchased more. I visited him in Vezelay many years ago, and he would send me a card every Christmas, with a tiny drawing inside, until I moved, and I did not think to send a forwarding address. I am sad to hear the news of his passing. Would be great to get a catalogue of his works together to celebrate his talent.

  2. First went to Vezeley 23 years ago and discovered Claude. Was into Esher and loved the fantasy element.
    Have been back several times since and always his gallery was a highlight. Returned a few days ago and was so sad to see he had gone. I only have a framed poster on my wall of his. Wish I had more.

  3. Thank you for posting this. I bought a painting of Claude's back in 2000. Still displayed proudly in my home.

  4. I also own two of Claude's paintings and can relate to others that have posted here. Visiting his workshop near the top of Vézelay was always a real treat. He will be missed, but his legacy lives on through his paintings.