Author Topic: Christian Terana  (Read 9146 times)

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Christian Terana
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2015, 02:44:45 PM »
One of our friends in flats, Christian Terana, left us yesterday
Here is a small chronicle wrote by some of his friends in flats
Bad time for our little community, Michael and now Christian ...

"It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the passing away of Christian Terana on August 1st 2015, in Paris, his hometown.

Exquisite painter of flats known for decades throughout the hobby for his art, he was a man of many talents as he was also an editor of flats (especially the Pierre Bretégnier line), and illustrator, a publisher and…a printer.
The passion for things military struck him early as he joined «La Sabretache» and the «Societe des Collectionneurs de Figurines Historiques» well before they merged when he was still in his early teens. But before he «made it» into our hobby, he started as a cook in a famous Parisian restaurant «Le Drouant». It was not his calling obviously but it required the same precision and attention to details combined with art which made him famous in the military figures circles. Painting as gifted amateur, he quickly found a sponsor, Dr. Leleu who collected flats not only for their beauty, but mainly for war gaming or «Kriegspiel» in the grand Franco-German tradition.

And so, Christian started painting hundreds, and thousands of figures for Dr. Leleu. Through him, he met Erika Ochel of the famous figure manufacturing family. She was then studying French. Through those connections, his career as a professional figure painter got to a real start. He did not paint only for collectors but also for editors like Jacques Vullinghs (Glorious Empires). He got to know all the great illustrators and painters of post-war France: Eugene Leliepvre, Jack Girbal and above all Lucien Rousselot for whom he was both a friend and student.

His knowledge of things military was truly universal. He painted figures, plates of the Napoleonic period as this was and still is the collectors’ favorite, but his passion and heart were in much earlier periods. Getting him to share his taste for the thirty years war would usually spark in any of his friends a devilish temptation to know more about it, such was his enthusiasm for it. He delighted in sharing this and many of his publications relate to the pre-1789 eras: Isnard’s works on the 1778 regulations, copies of works by Wilke on the 30 years’ war, the French royal Swiss guards by Hoffmann etc.

He was an incredible collector of books and documentation, and would gladly share some of it by publishing: the Susane series of books on French infantry, artillery cavalry, the Sauzey series on the confederation of the Rhine, Boppe’s books. All these volumes which had become impossible to get hold of he published in small printing runs but at affordable prices.

His face was familiar to all who attended the specialized auctions at Drouot. For many the quintessential Frenchman with his average built and small mustache, you’d easily imagine him cast alongside Gabin in a movie classic. He’d show up at all auction with his dark brown leather jacket and would quietly sit and bid with pit-bull determination as long as he deemed worth it.

Like many collectors a true introvert, his contact might seem a tad bit rough at first, but he had a heart of gold and would easily share his knowledge and passion if you were on a similar wavelength. Many in the hobby owe him a lot as he shared anecdotes, bits of knowledge and techniques.

One of his favorite anecdotes is quite apt at retelling with his passing.

It was his first visit to «La Sabretache», then in a grandiose setting on the Boulevard des Capucines, the year 1959. He knew no one, and he stumbles across two elderly gentlemen who by their looks seemed to have jumped out of a second empire painting. Yelling at one another, they were debating who between them was right or wrong about some obscure detail of the second empire court page uniform.

«I am right, Monsieur, by all means, I am right, here is the proof» and the man was waving a piece of paper with a broad Gallic gesture.

«No sir, this may be an official decree, but I am the one who is right, here is the proof, a photography! », screamed the other, throwing an old «carte de visite» at the other’s face.

Shocked by this odd display of violence between those two seemingly otherwise well brought up men, Christian ventured to ask who they were. He was told that one was Commandant Bucquoy and the other one, Henri Boisselier. Surprised at seeing these «demi-gods» for him into such action, Christian retired from the scene - within the year both were dead.

Another anecdote which amused him is that of the famous French actor whose wife threatened to divorce if he did not remove the life size mannequin of a dragoon mounted on his horse from the entrance of their apartment. He removed it!

Christian, you have now joined them in a better place where all the answers we’ve debated and you’ve been wondering about are probably known to you now. May you rest in peace, but know that we’ve lost with you, a friend, an artist and a true gentleman"
« Last Edit: August 02, 2015, 03:55:17 PM by marko »