Daprai portrays Dali - He drinks the milk from the master and already he makes it turn sour- The encounter Dali - Daprai at the Hotel Meurisse (Paris) proves it.

In front of the canvas which represented him knelt Dali feigning indifference raised his sight up to the ceiling. Catastrophy for Salvador: The ceiling of the Meurisse is in itself a true painting of Daprai.

If Louis II had known Daprai, he would have asked him to paint anew the sky of Bavière "What will be the color of the fresco?". Color flake of orange.

He finds his sublimation in the beauty of a Renaissance II Style.
Daprai is Renaissance II where I am

Gonzague Saint Bris

Music is the expression of the highest artistic ideal : reflection of celestial harmonies, it places man directly in front of the deepest mysteries of life. Daprai may endorse this statement made in the spiritual Charter of Humanity (1946) so much it is true that he is sensitive to the mysterious sides of life that Einstein said to be the most beautiful thing that we may experience and defined as the deep feeling which is found in the crib of Art and true Science.

Jean-Louis Monod

The personalities of the XIVth Arrondissement
Jean Daprai - Under the sign of imagination

Jean Daprai occupies a special place; he cannot be classified into the different trends of contemporary painting. His inspiration is a quite personal one: the internal cosmos he conveys to us via the art of colours does not belong to anyone else. Nobody but him has made his paint-brush travel through this universe, which is - sometimes in a fantastical, symbolic, strange, but always realistic way - close to our emotions. Daprai is always he himself. But who is he really?
Jean Daprai was born on 22nd of September, 1929, at Rovereto, Italy, with an artist's heart. The secondary and tertiary schools he attended have always been under the banner of the art of painting: he enrolled on the Acedemy of the Fine Arts at Milan, then attended the School for Holy Arts of Cimabue. However, at the age of 20 - an age when vocations may become a reality, when dreams are filled with the lure of a bohemian, romantic existence - he enrolled on the Foreign Legion. Demobilized in 1954, he moved to Marseille and from there, in 1956, to Paris where he chose the XIVth Arrondissement to start a long and brilliant career as an artist there. In the beginning, his pictures showed classical inspiration. Daprai was in search of himself, he tried to develop his personal style, to distil his dreams by and by within the unconscious, to transform the dreams into pictures, into colours; he is in search of the philosophers' stone. Will the artist become an alchemist? Yes, he does, in a way. However, this alchemist, not having any instrument beside his paint-brush at his disposal, does not offer us a disturbed, gloomy or disquieting world which is lost in the mysteries of a painful fear. But Daprai's oeuvre radiates a soothing kind of charm. Everything is just harmony and sensitivity. Each of his paintings seems to pay homage to beauty. The faces, the fantastic cities, the star-covered skies mix and mingle in an amazed vision. It is reality seen through the veil of imagination.
Being impressed by his first works, critics gave Daprai an enthusiastic welcome. They were responsive to the classical refinement of his drawings, the technical competence and his sense of harmony of colours. In fact, there seems to be a painter of former times behind the visionary, a painter like those who might be found in the Renaissance, an artist who cares for the tiniest detail and who is able to reflect the simple beauty of a human body, of a face, or the purity of a view. Success followed promptly, and his renown was rapidly spread even beyond French borders. Sveden, Kuwait, Venezuela, the Federal Republic of Germany received works of Jean Daprai. Orders came from all over the world, and the artist painted a portrait of the Shah of Iran, of the King of Morocco (Hassan II), of the Sultan of Brunei, of Salvador Dali etc.. Equally, to crown such an original and personal talent, there followed a number of honours and awards, among them the gold medal "Grand Prix Leonardo da Vinci" (1973), the "Golden Palm" of Queen Fabiola (1976), the Great Rubens Award of Antwerpen (1977), the gold medal of the city of Paris (1979) ...
Day after day Daprai's continues his work in his atelier in the XIVth Arrondissement. It is in this place that he designs his shining cities, his cosmic visions, his mythological dreams. Picture after picture it seems to us as if Daprai's was conveying a message to us which expresses his own metaphysical sensations. Past and future, dream and reality mix in the long monologue in the mind and soul of the artist, a solitary and mysterious monologue, from which he presents to us the colourful extract, soothing and full of harmony. He provides us with a serene reflection of the great mysteries of life. In Daprai's universe, everything expresses romanticism, sensitivity, the magic of forms and colours.
Rimbaud claimed for himself the magic power of the word. Jean Daprai, in his daily search of cosmic beauty, indubitably is in possession of the magic power of a certain purity. This is confirmed by his works, expressing love, sensitivity, inner music, labour. Some call him a magician. What is certain, however, is the fact that he possesses the secret of the miraculous and the qualities of an exceptional artist, whose presence as our guest here is an honour for the XIVth Arrondissement.

Philippe Leyder

The Magic of Poetic Surrealism

In Jean DAPRAI's works, I see the announcement of a surrealistic realism, ranking among Chirico, Magritte, Dali, Delveaux or Chapelain-Midy. There is a presence of the real world as well as of the imaginary world, which gives us the vision of a double world where the image of man, and especially that of woman, takes an important position. We are at the antipodes of "nature morte" (still life). Like the magicians of the Renaissance, he makes us travel in space and discover the magic of dream; impressed by this peculiar chromatic concordance and harmony of his own, we feel the charm and virtuosity of his style of painting. Due to his power of imagination and inspiration, we are able to discover the other side of the mirror. The painter's palette is, though very varied, always harmonious in its combination. The colours are never harsh or gaudy; they interpret a sweet, serene and poetic melody. Jean Daprai's works are a reflection of the unconscious which makes us ponder over and poetize our imagination ... . We are travelling ways of adventure and if we are lucky, ot the inspiration of the moment . We can find in it the magic of the picture with its personal symbolism, close to the masters of the Renaissance. Daprai's art of painting is characterized by his care about harmony, which refers to its entirety as well as to the tiniest detail, and poetic reality is symbolized by the feminine. Everything is described and suggested with taste. He expresses himself with finesse in a very particular form of realism, just as Baudelaire wrote: "Reality only exists in dreams". His art represents the confirmation and discovery of a wonderful, secret world. It transfers deep emotions. The rhythm and the execution of his plans, the connection of forms and colours, the concordance of tones, techniques, even of materials, be it water-colour paintings or gouaches of a delicate taste or oil-paintings with a powerful and subtle expressive quality: all of them contribute to convey the secrets which are concealed in the earth and in our souls. The masterly treatment of light, the mother of secret and splendour, confers to DAPRAI's paintings a kind of authority, authenticity, and logic which has been felt and recognized by amateurs and connoisseurs for they can neither forget good taste nor lose nostalgia.

The painting "Hymn to Life", a monumental work of two metres, which depicts four mothers, decorates the restaurant "Le Chaumière", Porte des Lilas, in Paris. It is the restaurant in which the first meeting of Edith Piaf and Marcel Cerdan took place. This painting is remarkable because of the composition and harmony of colours.

Within this trilogy of surrealism, symbolism and fantasy, Daprai's art of painting reveals itself as original and extremely personal; it touches us by the freshness of the emotions expressed, by the shine of its light, by the serenity and purity of its design. We can find in it the echoes of secret charms of Orientalism, an expressive form of refinement which results in subtle poetry. Without being aware of it, we sense the magic charm of this exceptional oeuvre, the work of a magnificent creator and visionary, who imposes his universe on us and who leads us into his secret gardens where life in all its forms seems to be a fairy tale. Jean Daprai's oeuvre ranks among the names of eminent contemporary surrealistic painters, it is part of the authentic values of our time. Now it is our turn to discover it, to evaluate and to appreciate it in its fullness. Tomorrow there will be reserved for it an important page within the golden book of surrealism.

Extract from "Vision sur les Arts"
H. Gineste