BIOGRAPHY: Claude Andreotto

Claude Andréotto was born in Paris, France, on 9 February 1949. He spent five years at the Ecole Estienne where he studied under the guidance of the famous stamp engraver René Cottet, while also taking lessons from Pierre Forget. He always admired the work of the old masters, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer.

Andréotto started engraving stamps in 1974. That same year he engraved his first stamp for France: a single stamp to mark the 500th birth anniversary (in 1973) of the astronomer Nicolas Copernicus.

In 1976, Andréotto won his first Grand Prix de l’Art Philatelique, for his French stamp issued for Juvarouen 76. In 1984, Andréotto won his second Grand Prix de l’Art Philatelique, for his French stamp promoting Philex-Jeunes 84-Dunkerque. Andréotto's stamps have won ‘most beautiful stamp of the year’ three times; in 1997, 2005 and 2008. In 2004, he won the Cérès Prize for his Tourism stamp of Bordeaux.

Andréotto did not only engrave stamps, his private art included many large engravings as well. In 2012, his private work was displayed at the 12th Salon International de la Gravure, in Morhange, France. As a member of Art du Timbre Gravé, Andréotto was present at the exhibition. Ever since the foundation of that organisation, Andréotto was an active member, always promoting the art of engraving wherever and whenever he could.

As an artist, Claude Andréotto was always keen to combine the classic with the modern, both in subject matter and in tools. From the early 1990s on he was very interested in the possibilities of computerised art and it has remained a feature in his work ever since. He used to say that the computer could do certain things in a few seconds which would have taken himself hours, and that he could spend the time he gained on the true creative process. He said that using a computer never stopped him appreciating the art of classic artists such as Da Vinci or Dürer.

In his work, Andreotto liked to use classic images and superimpose scientific illustrations, calligraphy and other non-contemporary ideas. While being often restricted when creating stamps, his style very much shone through on the Monaco stamp of 2000 marking World Mathematics Year. Other good examples of Andréotto's signature style are his work on the 1982 French issue to mark the centenary of the discovery of the Tubercle Bacilllus (both stamp and philatelic document), and a 'dummy stamp' he created for the French printers in 2008 when they were present at a French philatelic exhibition. His engraving for the Art de Timbre Gravé, which he did in 2011, is also a perfect example of this cacophony of ideas and images.

In 2013, Andréotto submitted designs for the new Marianne definitive of France. In his design he incorporated the new technologies which find favour among the youth of today while also recreating the style of the popular Manga comics. His design made it to the initial shortlist of fifteen designs but wasn't chosen for the final three to be considered.

Claude Andréotto passed away on 29 October 2017.

You will find Claude Andreotto's database HERE.