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Camille Hilaire

(French, 1916-2004)

Camille Hilaire was a French painter and weaver born in Metz, France in 1916. He took an early interest in painting, and by fifteen had begun copying drawings from his local library’s collection. He enrolled at Beaux-Arts in Paris after the director saw his drawings hung up in a bookshop.

Hilaire was drafted into the French army during WWII and then captured by Axis forces. He escaped and returned to Paris during the Occupation in 1941, enrolling again at Beaux-Arts under a false name. At Beaux-Arts, Hilaire was a student of Cubist painter Andre Lhote. Hints of Cubist influence can be found especially within Hilaire’s earlier paintings.

Hilaire became a professor of Beaux-Arts in Nancy and Paris from 1947-58, while exhibiting at the Gallerie Valloton and international art fairs. His work, both in painting and tapestry, is subtle in composition with an emphasis on colour.

Camille Hilaire