Émile Simon ( - )
Born in Rennes, he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in his native town before obtaining a scholarship to study in Paris at the famous Cormon studio. In 1912, he won the Rome competition.
After World War I, he found a position as a teacher at the Nantes Fine Arts School, which he headed a few years later. In the 1930s, Émile Simon went through a dark period that saw him lose his left eye in a motorbike accident and his wife disappear after three years of marriage. It was also during this period that he became the painting teacher of Madeleine Fié-Fieux. This woman became a sort of patron for the painter. In 1947, to escape the bombings, he moved to the Fié-Fieux couple's home in the Squividan manor in Clohars Fouesnant. He never left this house.
This painter of great sensitivity is very inspired by the Breton landscapes, the characters and the scenes of Breton life. It is there, among the humble and in the religious festivals, that he finds his inspiration. Émile Simon was a post-impressionist, whose works are so many snapshots of life in Cornwall in the first half of the 20th century.
As a result, he sold very few of his paintings, all of which remained in his Squividan manor. To pay tribute to his talent, Mrs Fié-Fieux bequeathed the manor and the numerous paintings of the painter to the department, so it is in this small museum that you can see some of his work as well as in the fine arts museums of Nantes and Rennes.