Henri Husson was born in Grand in the Vosges in 1852.
Son a lockersmith, he starts his career by following the steps of his father. He realizes in secret a beautiful key that he sells to an amateur.
After this, he follows evening drawing class and changes his career to become an anonymous art metalworker. He also makes in parallel furniture in the Renaissance style for businessmen. Thus, he gives up his signature during 27 years, and will find later, works of art in private collections made by him but given to the Renaissance period.
Bust by Paul Paulin
He’s friend with the busts sculptor Paul Paulin (1852-1937), who makes and exhibits his portrait in the Salon des Artistes Français, of 1883, the piece is today still not indexed, leaving us with only image of the artist, a photograph taken in his workshop illustrating an article dedicated to him and written by Léandre Vaillat, published in L’Art et les artistes : revue mensuelle d’art ancien et moderne, in 1913.
Photograph of Henri Husson published in L’Art et les artistes : revue mensuelle d’art ancien et moderne, in 1913.
End of the anonymity
Henri Husson ends with anonymity, encouraged by the founder and editor Adrien Hébrard (1865-1937) in the early 1900’s and starts his career as a silversmith. Established near Mantes, he lives in the countryside, in the middle of the fields and flowers and collects butterflies. The decoration of his works of art are inspired by the nature which is surrounding him, giving him his main themes. He reproduces, the most accuratly possible the plants and insects that seem molded lively as their precision is remarkable.
He mainly works with red copper that he lightens up with poured silver for the realization of some motifs. He also sometimes works with only gold, silver and enamel. Husson was a singular artist, who lived aside from the trends and artistic movements on his time. Nevertheless, we still find in his creations a proximity with Symbolism and Japonisme of the late 19th century.
He exhibits silver works in the Salon des Artistes français from 1901, then each year until 1911 and receives an eulogistic critic for his talent. Moreover, in 1909, Adrien Hébrard (1865-1937) with who he works sometimes, dedicates him a first exhibition in his gallery of the rue Royale in Paris. He repeats the experience the following year by exhibiting this time a living room of which he made the furniture and the decorative arts. The same year, he also receives the decoration of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.
Finally, one year before his death, he tries jewels creation that he also exhibits in the galerie Hébrard in 1913, and of which we can see some examples in the Petit Palais.
Death and posterity
Henri Husson, dies when he is 62 years old in December 1914.
The Russian collector Jacques Zoubaloff, big admiror of the artist whom he compared to the biggest silversmiths, succeeds to gather an important collection of his work. He gave it to the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Paris (Petit Palais) in 1916, then in 1922, thus providing the museum with the most important collection of Henri Husson.