was a French artist, engraver, painter and aquarellist.
At only 19, he won the Concours de Rome
, the most prised award for young artists in France at the time. He has been elected fellow of the French Académie des Beaux Arts
He was first illustrator of luxury art books, such as Le chant de mon voyage vers la Grèce
(my Grecian travel’s song) by Léon Cathlin, Combourg
by Chateaubriand, Les discours des misères de ce temps
(Discourse regarding the misery of the present time) by Ronsard, Les destinées
(destiny) by Alfred de Vigny
Alfred Victor de Vigny was a French poet, playwright, and novelist.-Life:Alfred de Vigny was born in Loches into an aristocratic family...
, etc. In 1931, he produced a Macbeth
The Tragedy of Macbeth is a play by William Shakespeare about a regicide and its aftermath. It is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy and is believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607...
. After 1958, President Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....
was fond of Decaris’s works, especially of the illustration of his own book Le fil de l’épée
(The edge of the sword).
In the 1930s, he embarked himself into postal stamps carving, resulting in more than 500 such vignettes, for the French or other (mostly African) postal services. Stamp collectors are fond of Decaris stamps, as well as of the numerous associated derivative products: small images or illustrated envelopes sold the first day a new stamp is emitted.
At the same time, he was preparing large plates mostly for his own pleasure, on a wide variety of subjects: careful (almost technical) representations of monuments and places of interest, as was the task of an engraver in the 19th century; scenes of history, real life or imaginary; scenes of mythology or of imagination, not far from surrealism; mere caricatures, with a sense of humour. Some are bounded in albums, such as The Apocalypse
An Apocalypse is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e. the veil to be lifted. The Apocalypse of John is the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament...
or The Zodiac
In astronomy, the zodiac is a circle of twelve 30° divisions of celestial longitude which are centred upon the ecliptic: the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year...
In the whole, he remains as the best and the most notorious French engraver of the 20th century, with a very strange mix of classicism and audacity. As noticed by columnist Yvan Christ “Decaris works take place beyond times and styles. They are made for duration.” (L’amateur d’art
, Paris, Feb 1988).