Biography
Biography

Kluge, Constantine

Constantine Kluge (French/Russian1912-2003) Constantin Kluge was born in Riga, Latvia, on January 29, 1912. Kluge's father was drafted into the Tsar's army in 1914. The chaos of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the ensuing Civil War uprooted the family. They moved frequently, always eastward, arriving in Manchuria in 1920. In 1925 the émigré family moved again, this time to the French "concession" of Shanghai, where Kluge would graduate from the French Municipal High School
By the time he was seventeen, he was a very active member of the Shanghai Art Club. But his parents had decided that pure art was not a dependable career, and thus in 1931 Kluge left Shanghai for Paris to study architecture. He spent six years at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and graduated in 1937 with the title of French Government Architect.
The years spent studying and living in the Latin Quarter of Paris had created in Kluge a strong attachment to the characteristic scenes of Paris, and, instead of returning immediately to Shanghai and his family, he stayed on in Paris for six months painting views of Paris in oils, purely to portray and preserve the scenes he so loved.
In mid-1946 he accepted an architectural post in Hong Kong and continued to paint in his spare time. In March, 1950, amid rumours that the Chinese Communists might invade Hong Kong, Constantin Kluge left Asia for good and returned to his beloved Paris. Already a mature and successful painter by the time he reached Paris, he won an award and considerable attention at the Paris Salon in 1951. Since that time he has been a frequent exhibitor in the Salon shows, which have proved to be his gateway to ever increasing public attention, Kluge is a member of the Societe' des Artistes Francais, and his works have won prizes at their Salon. In 1961 he was awarded the Medaille d'Argent as well as the special Raymond Perreau prize given by the Taylor Foundation at the Salon. In 1962 he received the coveted Gold Medal of the Salon. In 1990 he was named a Chevalier de Legion d'Honneur and in 1991 he was awarded the Grand Medal of the City of Senlis.