To honor Paul Belmondo means to honor France. In his extensive work the power of that good tradition is emphasized; this tradition forms the basis of France as one of the leading cultural nations.
It was 1927--if I remember correctly--when we met each other for the first time: Belmondo, the outgoing Frenchman, and I, the German, newly arrived in Paris still with the pain of homesickness in his heart. But what a miracle! Belmondo--only two years older than I--was among those who combined their interest in German culture and intellectual discussion about their neighboring country with an honest readiness to introduce me to the impressive world of ideas of the French artists. With an open heart I absorbed what was to be decisive for myself and my future work.
The good relationship to Paul Belmondo was so much easier to develop because we, over and beyond our intellectual views, were also possessed by a great zeal for work. Moreover, we had close friends such as Charles Despiau whose esteemed pupil and good comrade Belmondo was.
What I especially value in Belmondo is the consistent dedication to his work that has shown no let up since our common decision to adopt the objective form. The magnificent exhibition, which was sponsored by the French state and ended in January of 1977 in the Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint), gave an insight into the masterly ability of Belmondo, beginning with the small, artistic medal right up to the monumental sculpture.
Whoever knows Paul Belmondo will attest to the fact that his work is also a mirror of his soul and an expression of this man's personality. Belmondo is not an artist who looks for temporary favor. His themes are carefully selected; his representations radiate the dignity of the human being: warmth, humility, humanitarianism.
Paul Belmondo, whom we honor as artist and friend--what better thing could we wish for him from the bottom of our hearts than man y more years of active work!
(1977)Copyright 1996 PROMETHEUS