DOUBLE PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG BELLHOP
Signed & inscribed l.m. Le Petit Groom Marrakech 2001
Watercolour with gouache & gold paint
32 x 24cm
Private Collection, Paris
Régis Delène (great nephew of the sculptor Frederick Bartholdi) was born in La Roche-sur-Yon in Vendée, France. He studied fine art in Nantes, focusing on photography and audio-visual arts. In 1981, having applied to be Professor of Applied Visual Arts at the School of Fine Arts in Nantes, he made the first of his trips to Morocco, undertaking his first Saharan camel ride on the trip.
Upon his return he participated in his first group show at the Nantes-based gallery Moyon-Avenard, alongside Yves Brayer and Bernard Buffet. Around this time he also set up his studio in Saint-Georges-de-Pointindoux, a small village in the Vendée countryside. During this period he began a series titled 'Jardins évanouis' (Disappearing Gardens).
He exhibited in 1985 at the Salon des Artistes Français, then left for the US and studied at the Art Students League in New York. Here he also met the director of the Jadite Gallery, Roland Sainz, who became a close friend and collaborator. Bartholdi returned to France in 1989, setting up a studio near Dourdan, outside Paris. Two years later he visited Mauritania for the first time, and discovered the manuscripts of the trading town of Chinghetti, now buried beneath the sands of the desert. His next artistic journey was to Jordan, where he travelled onwards to the Sahara and spent time with the Tuaregs.
Today Delène paints the Silk Roads and their pilgrims, with a focus on their long-held traditions and cultural knowledge.