Forty six years ago on this 12th of September, 1968, Lorjou's wife and fellow artist Yvonne Mottet passed away of leukemia.
Mottet taught Lorjou conventional drawing. Her influence on his work and on his life were profound. Her kind, gentle but direct force humanized and appeased his volcanic personality. Lorjou openly confessed: "Yvonne Mottet and Velasquez were the only painters who ever had an influence on me." He added: "She died before the world could recognize what a great artist she was."
To offer his condolences, artist Bernard Buffet wrote Lorjou the following letter:
My dear Bernard:
I just learned of this horrible news - believe me I am saddened and very affected
but her name will remain -
and it will endure next to yours -
but the solitude will be difficult for you -
know that all of my heart is with you -
with both of you
With my affection,
Yvonne Mottet was born in Lyon, France in 1906 and received a formal arts education. She began her career as a designer for silk manufacturers in France and the United States while exhibiting in the French salons. In 1948, Mottet and Lorjou were among the founding members of the artistic group known as “Homme-témoin." Throughout her career, Mottet also held solo exhibitions at various prestigious galleries in France, London and the United States. In 1956, she received the prestigious Critic's Prize Award (Prix de la Critique). During her lifetime, Yvonne Mottet's paintings were sought after by powerful collectors, among them Domenica Walter who bequeathed the Walter-Guillaume collection to the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.