In an attempt to align himself with the Impressionist painters, Anders Gittelson—born in 1921 in Brooklyn, New York—fashioned himself as a Frenchman by the name of Andre Gisson, born in 1910. Whether or not his subterfuge actually worked or simply amused, Gisson became one of America’s leading Realist painters.
As a Captain in the Army during the final years of World War II, Gisson was afforded the opportunity to travel through Europe and Asia, and his fixation with the sophisticated styles and lively artistic scenes in France took root. Upon his return to the United States, he applied for and received a scholarship to the Pratt Institute in New York. Throughout his career he painted landscapes, portraits, beach scenes, and still lifes, all with an homage to the lightness and refined gestural style of his Impressionist forebearers.
His work is housed in the collections of the Smithsonian Institute, and his private collectors included President Lyndon B. Johnson and W. Somerset Maugham.