The Surrealism Website
Jacques Hérold (1910-1987)




Jacques Hérold was born in Romania but came to Paris in the early 1930s where he met Yves Tanguy and his fellow countryman Victor Brauner, and thus found his way into the company of Andre Breton.
Among his early paintings is The Big Silence of 1931. Here he paints the human figure with areas like cutaways showing the muscles and bones beneath the skin. The Astrological portrait from the same year has a clear meaning with the head being placed within a network of constellation of stars.
In 1936 he created a series of brightly coloured paintings which are clearly figurative, but he creates the forms through fibrous layers similar to anatomical drawings of musculature. Thus Autogene and Lumen.
In 1941, while hiding from the Nazi's at the Villa Air Bel near Marseilles, he collaborated with other surrealists under the guidance of Breton to create the Jeu de Marseilles, a set of surrealist playing cards. He contributed two cards to the set, Lamiel and Sade.
Later he moved somewhat away from pure surrealism and created works of a more abstract nature.
Hérold is not well known today but he played a significant part in the unfolding of surrealism in the late 1930s.