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BRUNO BERAN (Austro/Hungarian)  (1888 – 1979)

“Two Figures”

Charcoal and Pencil. Paper size 18” x 22” (457 x 558mm)

Overall framed size 26 ¼” x 30 1/8” (667 x 764mm)

Signed on original mount now attached to the reverse of the frame                                                 IMAGE


Bruno Beran was born in Bruenn, then part of the Austro/Hungarian Empire.  From 1903 he studied at the School of Applied Arts under the influence of Klimt and then to Munich, an important centre for the expressionist school of painting.  Later he moved to Paris where he joined a class under the direction of Claude Monet.  In Paris he exhibited portraits, landscapes and still lifes at la Nationale between 1914 and 1939.  He also exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in 1938 and the Salon des Independants in 1938 and 1939.  At the outbreak of war in 1914 he left Paris, leaving all his work behind.  He then joined the Austrian Army from which he was discharged on health grounds and installed himself in the attic of his Father’s factory in Bruenn which he converted into a studio where he painted large canvases in the manner of Degas.  After his Father’s factory closed down Beran and his wife travelled widely and in 1931 crossed into Spain.  From Barcelona he went to the island of Ibiza where, for three years, he rented a studio.  On the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War foreign visitors were asked to leave and he was taken to England.  He then moved back to Paris.  Three years later with the outbreak of the Second World War he and his wife escaped on foot across the Pyrenees Mountains at night into Spain, helped by smugglers .   Unfortunately the Spanish police caught up with them as they had entered the country illegally but they were released on the understanding that they would apply for a visa to America.  So in 1942 they travelled to New York.  In Washington his talent as a portrait artist was recognized and he painted commissions from famous people in the Diplomatic Corp which now hang in museums and public buildings on both sides of the Atlantic.  Travelling once more they visited Scotland, France and Morocco.  In 1969, now 80, he moved to Spain and finally to Palma, Majorca where he donated 16 of his paintings to the Museo de Mallorca where in Palma there is a hall dedicated to his work.  He died in Majorca in 1979 at the age of 91.