At her château in the bucolic French countryside, the artist paints sumptuous, extravagant works inspired by floral arrangements plucked from the gardens just beyond her window.
Claire Basler’s garden-inspired paintings are not realistic re-creations. Rather, she captures the flutter of a petal, the arch of a stem, and the colors of the sky.
Basler has always been an artist, but it wasn’t until she was 15 that she truly began studying the métier. “I did not have much formal training,” she says, “but what I did have was invaluable.” Her first teacher, a Madame Delarue at Paris’ École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, helped her find her visual voice. “She was wonderful—a Parisian, funny, approachable, and excellent,” says Basler. “She taught us the basics we needed to know to make art. But she let artists pursue their own paths, and that’s what made us learn.”
At Basler’s home at Château de Beauvoir, the dining room envelops guests in the walls of a forest. Ikea chandeliers in different sizes hang over a black lacquered table made by her husband, Pierre Imhof. Tall glass vases hold blooms culled from the garden.
When they settled into the Château de Beauvoir, she and Imhof devoted themselves to restoring the centuries-old estate. For the 20-plus years previous, he was a builder, crafting sailboats. These days they work together to transform their part of the property.
When asked about “favorite” flowers, Basler hesitates. Instead of saying predictably that she loves them all, she admits to a fondness for poppies.
“It’s the force and fragility, the delicacy of the petals, and the profundity of the heart,” she says. But then she continues about irises—“they are beautiful but so ephemeral;” peonies—“extraordinary but so hard to paint;” and daisies—“always lovely.”
To read more about Claire Basler and her artwork, you can find a full article on page 37 at My French Country Home magazine (May/June 2021 Issue).