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"The Beauty of Land:" Pierre Daura's Vision of
Item #: 20023
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Text by William M. S. Rasmussen

Pierre Daura was arguably the greatest artist active in Virginia in the twentieth century. As a young man he left his native Spain to travel to Paris and became immersed in the mainstream of modern painting. On the eve of World War II, Daura and his Richmond-born wife, Louise Blair, relocated to Virginia and settled at Rockbridge Baths where they spent most of the next three decades. Pierre painted the landscape and people of Rockbridge County and of Lynchburg, where for years he taught at Lynchburg College and at Randolph-Macon Woman's College.

In Virginia, Pierre Daura was prolific. He produced hundreds of canvases, watercolors, drawings, and sculptures but never engaged a New York or Paris art dealer to market his name or his paintings. Consequently, Daura's vast body of Virginia work accumulated in Rockbridge Baths, known to few beyond his friends, to whom he gave a number of the pieces. Following his death in 1976, Daura's daughter Martha cataloged her father's art and dispersed much of it to museums throughout Europe and America.

The exhibition brings together for the first time a large group of Pierre Daura's Virginia works, and 76 are pictured in the catalog of the exhibition. Of his work, Daura wrote, "It seems to me . . . an important contribution to help . . . people discover the beauty of the land where they live. I do not believe we should neglect anything to inspire men with the love of their native soil."

63 pages, Softcover, ISBN 0-945015-26-7, Virginia Historical Society, 2006.