Printmaker Jacques Beurdeley was born in 1874 in Paris.
His father, an influential politician whose circle of friends included Puvis de Chavannes and J.A.M. Whistler, had expected his son to emulate him by studying law.
But Beurdeley's artistic talent was not to be denied; he took an entirely different path. First, he studied painting with Fernand Cormon at L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where Toulouse-Lautrec was a regular visitor. Next, he studied with influential printmakers Eugène Carrière and Auguste Delâtre. His talent for transforming lines drawn on a copper plate into shimmering natural light was revealed, and his career blossomed within the medium of etching.
The formidable James McNeill Whistler would also be a profound influence and mentor. In 1903, he traveled with Whistler to London to draw and work on the banks of the Thames. From there, he went on to Venice and then to Bruges and Amsterdam. With their strong contrasts of light and dark and inventive depictions of space, Beurdeley's engravings during this time (especially his scenes of Venice and Amsterdam) have a deep affinity to Whistler's late etchings.
Prolific over several decades, with an equal interest in drawing city streets and pastoral scenes, his prints reveal his fine hand for nuances of seasonal light and the shimmering texture of water and stone.
Beurdeley died in 1954 in Provins, the 13th-century medieval city he loved and called home. Right to the end of his life, residents fondly recalled seeing him out in the fields, working directly on his etching plates.