Semester of Graduation

August 2021


Master of Arts (MA)


School of Art

Document Type



This thesis is the first comprehensive scholarly analysis of the life and most extant works by Jean Despujols. The French and later naturalized American painter, writer, poet, philosopher, deep-thinker, and mystic was best known for his Neoclassical and academic style. This thesis briefly discusses the artist’s beginnings as a young painter at the School of Fine Arts in Bordeaux and in Paris, his sketches in the trenches of the First World War, his time at the Villa Medicis after winning the distinguished Rome Prize, and his paintings and thoughts as a philosopher and political writer throughout his life. An outstanding aspect of this thesis emphasizes Despujols’s time with his fellow Bordeaux School artists during the interwar years which included Jean Dupas, Raphaël Delorme, and Robert Pougheon; his nearly two-year journey through French Indochina; and also the later years of his life when he worked as a well-known portrait painter for affluent families in Shreveport, Louisiana. Periods and subjects of art history embraced in this thesis are French Academic painting, Neo-Mannerism, the Art Deco style, impressions of Chinese landscape painting and Asian art, as well as the Neo-Rococo style.

Committee Chair

Spieth, Darius A.