A Career Begun in France

Théobald's art had already been exhibited
for ten years when her name started to appear
on street signs In Paris, France,
then used to advertise painting exhibitions.

Renée Théobald was born in Paris on March 7, 1926. Her mother, Florentine Durr, also born in Paris, transmitted to her her origins from the Alsace region, her love for France, her "joie de vivre", and her feminist beliefs. Her father, Michel Théobald, born in the Lorraine region, was a German teacher. After graduating from the Lycée Lamartine, in 1946, Renée Théobald enrolled as a student at the National School of Fine Arts of Paris ("Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts de Paris"). She married the following year and had five daughters. At the age of 26, she had already given birth to four children, and could claim several art exhibitions.

Her first individual exhibition took place in Paris in 1951, followed by others in 1952, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1959, and 1962. She also exhibited her art in Metz in 1954 and 1955, in Strasbourg in 1955, in Lille in 1957, and very regularly in Belgium (Brussels and Mons), starting in 1960 and throughout the following two decades.

Théobald never signed her first name to avoid being considered a "female painter," and thus escape the condescending prejudices of the time. She wanted to be judged as a full-fledged painter. For the same reason, she painted numerous flower bouquets only after establishing her reputation, and when the Japanese expressed their particular enthusiasm for her work.

She received the first Landscape prize at the International Competition of Deauville ("Concours international de Deauville") in 1953, as well as a travel scholarship from the City of Paris in 1956, and the first Composition prize at the International Grand Prix of Cannes in 1957.

In 1962, she received the first prize of the Society of Art Amateurs and Collectors ("Société des Amateurs d'Art et Collectionneurs") for one of her paintings depicting an orchestra.