Constantin Kluge
French, 1912-2003

Constantine Kluge was born in Riga, Latvia in 1912. After the October 1917 Revolution in Russia, his family had to flee the country. The family moved eastward until they settled in French part of Shanghai, where Kluge went to a French school.

Afterwards, Kludge went to Paris to study architecture; however, while in Paris Kluge painted a lot of street scenes to retain them in his memories. Upon returning to Shanghai, Kluge practiced architecture for a short while before devoting himself fully to painting.

Constantine Kluge eventually moved to Paris, where he had great success at the Paris Salon. In 1962 he won Gold Medal of the Salon des Artistes Francais France and in 1990 he received The Legion d'Honneur France.

His fascination with Paris is contagious and the viewer feels drawn into each Kluge painting. In addition to Paris proper, Kluge has sought out quiet, picturesque harbor scenes where the colors of water and sails blend to form softly modulated patterns of great beauty and interest. As with his paintings along the Seine, Kluge's handling of water in these harbor scenes is unusually lovely and convincing.

Probably due to his early architectural training, Kluge has in the past been primarily occupied with subjects which include buildings of many types, but pure landscape subjects intrigue him as well. In his country scenes of provincial France, where sunlight and changing atmospheric qualities present a new challenge, Kluge uses the same subtlety and sensitive rendering of beauty found in his other work, It is interesting to find this capable painter rounding out his repertoire in such varied fashion. While Kluge continues to paint, he is also a writer of considerable stature, His autobiography, Constantin Kluge (published in 1987), details his fascinating life and includes many color reproductions of his paintings.

French art critics have declared that Constantin Kluge is a painter of poetic realism. Kluge paints without affectation, in a frank and straightforward style. His firm drawing and well-constructed forms are bathed in an atmosphere of subtle colors. He enjoys painting and communicates that joy to the beholder.