Alfred Fauvarque-Omez, French Pictorialist



It's difficult to find any writings about Alfred Fauvarque-Omez . The only information we get comes from his images and some indications on the back of his photos.

He was a typical Amateur photographer at the turning point between Pictorialism and Modernism. In the 1920s he mostly used the pigment processes with the classic subjects: landscape, city scapes and portraits. Later he took his most know photos the harbour of Dunkerque (France).

Fauvarque-Omez was originally from Roubaix, which is a city of northern France near the cities of Lille and Tourcoing close to the Belgian border. There he studied at the Institution Notre-Dame des Victories, where he apparently did very poorly and was forced to quit and return to a life raising chickens. But he seemed to refuse to relinquish a life in the arts and, in 1928, became president of his local photography society in Roubaix.

As president, he solicited and exhibited the work of Alexander Keighley, Robert Demachy, Pierre Dubreuil, Frantisek Drtikol, Constant Puyo and other important pictorialists. He was a friend of Leonard Misonne, the famed Belgium pictorialist, and emulated his style and processes in the 1920s and 1930s. Fauvarque-Omez's early images are usually bromoils and bromoil transfers and are pictorialist in style.

Early images were typically old city streets, genre, harbor scenes and landscapes. His later works, which were silver prints, reflected a more modernist eye and the changes in the scenery of northern France: quiet fishing villages and farming communities gave way to low-angled shots of electrical pylons and distorted roller coasters. He appears to have maintained his amateur status and was an active participant in the European photo salons from the early 1920s right up until his death in 1958. He exhibited in France, Belgium and Algeria. Fauvarque-Omez was a member of the Federation Nationale des Societies Photographiques de France, where he often exhibited. His photographs were published in the "Touring-Club de France", "La Revue Française de Photographie et de Cinématographie" (of Paul Montel) and "La Coupe de France", among many other magazines and journals.

There has been a recent museum exhibit of his work with a small pamphlet on his photography. Fauvarque-Omez is listed in the Auer & Auer and George Eastman House databases. A short biography (in French) and two of his photographs were published in "R. Topffer, C. Pyo: De l'Art et du Daguerreotype".

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