Albert Marque was born on July 1872 in Nanterre, an old village united with Paris in 1860, in a parisian family of modeste condition. His father was a simple employee working for a wine merchant and had married at 24 years of age, a young woman of his age, Eugenie DESPOIS. Albert had a sister, CHARLOTTE.
When he was young, he went to evening drawing classes. During his spare time, he enjoyed modelling and used his young sister Charlotte as a model for his first sculptures. She was pretty, shameless, exuberant and he adored her. As a teen-ager, he did an internship with a mason in charge of restoring Gothic monuments. This artistic company soon initiated him with the beauty of medieval but also of the 18th century, wich was a true eye-opener, and he decided to become a sculptor. Since he didn’t win the contest of industries of art, which reinforced his decision to embrace an independent artistic career, he then decided to rent a small workshop in the 15th district of Paris to work there on his own.
As he couldn’t avoid the military service, which lasted two years at the time, he had to move away from Paris. Friendly and generous, he pleasantly lent his workshop during his absence to his refined friend, the ceramist Andre Methey.
He did his military service in a small city in the Meuse (Stenay), bordering Germany,where he was offered to him to use his art to decorate the regiment’s refectory. Years later, when he became famous, admirers visited Stenay, where the guard proudly showed to the visitors the « natural size sculpture » made by the famous sculptor A. Marque when he was « a…simple soldier »….
Back to Paris, he registerd with several artistic Salon where he became part of a circle of friends who remained faithful to him all his life.
Between 1900 and 1914, aware of his talent, he didn’t hesitate to appeal to official ministries to get orders, wich especially allowed him to real name among wealthy customers, often foreigners, for whom he created, alternatively, representations of women and children, in the form of small figurines, chests, heads, busts or torsos…He also undertook larger works such as wall sculptures, fountains, basins…
During the Salon des Independants of 1902, he presented the « head of a young girl » (his sister Charlotte), a charming work of youth wich his friend, the painter Maurice Denis, fought, because he absolutely had to have it, and which he finally exchanged for one of his paintings...(©theimer)