Paul-Elie Gernez

Caen – The Artists – Gernez, Paul-Elie

This page forms part of a series of pages dedicated to the many artists who worked in Caen. A full list of all the artists with a link to their works can be found at the bottom of this page.

NOTE: To our knowledge, Gernez did not work in Caen itself, but instead worked in nearby Ouistreham.

Paul-Elie Gernez
Paul-Elie Gernez

Movement(s): Cubism

Paul-Elie Gernez born in Onnaing on January 27, 1888 and died in Honfleur on September 6, 1948 is a French painter, watercolourist, engraver and illustrator.

Paul-Elie Gernez let himself be tempted at the start of his career by Cubism, then returned to a more classical figuration, to the landscape, to still life, to seascapes, to still lifes of flowers.

He mainly draws his inspiration from Honfleur where he stays there a lot. He quickly understands that he found there what he was looking for: calm, a job that allows him to live, but gives him time to paint and above all that estuary atmosphere so loved by Eugene Boudin.

Gernez works a lot and wants to accomplish his “ranges” every day by making many drawings. In the same spirit, he produces two to four watercolors per day. He works from nature: nudes, still lifes and landscapes. Gernez divides his time between Paris and Honfleur, which he never leaves for long. In 1923, he was named Knight of the Legion of Honor.

In 1942, illness forced him to rest. His pace slows down, but he continues to work. After a serious operation in 1946, Gernez passed away in 1948 in Honfleur.

Click here to read his bio on Wikipedia (in French only)

NOTE: Click on the image below for a bigger version (no new window will open).


The city of Ouistreham (population: 9,200) is the harbour town of Caen. It lies to the North of Caen.

1936 -  Paul-Elie Gernez - The Port of Ouistreham
1936 – Paul-Elie Gernez – The Port of Ouistreham

Paul-Elie Gernez painted most of his life in Normandy, but he did manage to visit some other parts of France. Here are all the places we’ve found where he painted (a link “⇠” to his works will appear when published):

Artists featured here who painted in Caen (but not limited to) are (a link “” will be placed next to an artist name when their works are published. A “*” means that the artist did NOT work in Caen itself, instead worked in nearby villages and towns):

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