EMMANUEL “le calligraphe” (emmanuel DERIENNIC, known as)

1908 . guingamp . france

1965 . quimper . france

First employed in a bank in Brest, then grocer and finally bookkeeper, Emmanuel Deriennic married twice. After the Second World War, he started drinking and went in to a rehabilitation center, in vain. A skin condition worsened his condition. In 1958, hemiplegia even further deteriorated his mental health; he was then hospitalized for hallucinations in the psychiatric hospital of Quimper for five years. There he began to draw. Calligraphy is at the center of his work V hence the nickname he is known for, “Calligrapher.” Using feathers and often his fingers as a brush and various media such as oilcloth, he diluted ink in water to trace letters which weave together faces, animals, landscapes and everyday objects. He sometimes incorporated in his work traces of his medical treatment: liquids, broken pieces from phials and crushed pills. His wife refused to receive him after his discharge from hospital in 1963, and he spent the last two years of his life with his sister.

photo: Emmanuel Deriennic and Pierre Maunoury, his psychiatrist