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Monica Bohm-Duchen

(b Nancy, March 15, 1912; d Paris, Dec 1, 1948).

French painter. His father, Jacques Gruber, was a stained-glass artist of Alsatian origin. Francis moved with his family to Paris in 1916. Although ill-health during childhood led to the neglect of his formal education, he read widely and precociously and from the age of eight showed an eagerness to paint; even as a child he admired the work of Hieronymus Bosch, Matthias Grünewald and Albrecht Dürer, who were to prove important influences on his work of the 1930s and 1940s, and sought advice from Georges Braque and Roger Bissière, who were close neighbours. Between 1929 and 1932 he was taught at the Académie Scandinave by Charles Dufresne, Othon Friesz and Henry de Waroquier (1881–1970). He worked essentially from the imagination during these years, although he also produced a few still-lifes. From 1930 he exhibited regularly at the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Tuileries.

In 1933 Gruber met Alberto and Diego Giacometti, who were to become close friends (...