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Guy de Montlaur
Self-portrait by Guy de Montlaur
Autoportrait sans indulgenge (1969)
Born Guy de Villardi, comte de Montlaur
(1918-09-09)9 September 1918
Died 10 August 1977(1977-08-10) (aged 58)
Garches, Paris
Nationality French
Political movement Cubism/Expressionism

Military career
Allegiance Flag of France.svg France
Service/branch French Army
Free French Naval Commandos
Years of service 1938-1945
Rank Lieutenant
  • 3e Régiment de Hussards
  • 15è Groupe de Reconnaissance de Corps d’Armée
  • 1er Bataillon de Fusiliers Marins Commandos
Awards Legion d'Honneur

Guy de Villardi de Montlaur (9 September 1918, Biarritz—10 August 1977, Garches) was a French artist and soldier. His family originated from Montlaur (Hérault), a 10th-century castle north of Montpellier in the Languedoc country. His ancestor Bernard II de Montlaur, Lord of Vailhauquès, had fought with Raymond IV of Toulouse in the First Crusade (1096–1099).[1]

As a young man Montlaur studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, and painting at the Académie Julian from 1936-1938.[1] He worked with Emmanuel Fougerat and Jean Souverbie.

In October 1938 he was conscripted for military service, serving in the 3e Régiment de Hussards. He was a member of the 15è Groupe de Reconnaissance de Corps d’Armée initially based at Sarreguemines on the German border during the battle of France.[2] He eventually left France, travelling to England via Lisbon to join the Free French in October 1942. His unit – the 1er Bataillon de Fusiliers Marins Commandos, in which he served as a Second-Maître[3] (Sergeant) – was attached to No. 4 Commando of Lord Lovat's 1st Special Service Brigade for the invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, landing at Ouistreham.[1] He also took part in the assault on the Dutch island of Walcheren ("Operation Infatuate") on 1 November 1944, having been commissioned at a lieutenant.[4] Montlaur received seven citations and the French légion d'honneur by the age of 25.[1]

After the war Montlaur worked at the Art Students League of New York from 1947–1949, and exhibited his work regularly in Paris thereafter.[1] Initially an exponent of Cubism, he later matured into a more Expressionist style.

Montlaur is buried at the military cemetery at Ranville, Normandy.[5]

In the 1962 film The Longest Day he was played by Georges Rivière.[6]


  • 1937 : Salon des Artistes Français, Paris.
  • 1949 : Galerie Lucienne-Léonce Rosenberg, Paris.
  • 1949-1950 : Salon des Surindépendants, Paris.
  • 1951 and 1954 : Galerie Colette Allendy, Paris.
  • 1951 : 3rd Exhibition Art Club, Hotel Negresco, Nice.
  • 1950-1958 : Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Paris.
  • 1959 : Comité France-Amérique, Paris.
  • 1971 : Galerie Rolf Lutz, Paris.
  • 1994 : French Embassy, Washington, D.C.
  • 1994 : Montgomery Gallery, San Francisco.
  • 2012 : Memorial Pegasus and Ranville City Hall Library, Normandy, France, from 2 to 30 June.
  • 2012 : Chateau de La Thibaudière Orangery, Anjou, France, National Heritage Day, 15 & 16 September.
  • 2013 : Chateau de Montlaur, Hérault, France, March 30, 31, April 1, 6 and 7.


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