Marie Détrée – Official Painter of the French Navy



Official Painters of the French Navy represent an Institution created in France, in 1830, by King Louis-Philippe. The main purpose has been, since the beginning of its creation, to participate in naval operations, discovery missions, study and represent landscapes, coastal scenes, seamen at work, wildlife and flora through paintings, drawings or prints.


Accredited painters of the French Navy are appointed for a 3 year term after having been vouched by a jury of 15 persons belonging to various backgrounds such as Maritime, Arts and Senior Executives. Following 3 renewals of 3 years, they are then appointed “Titulaires”. The number of licensed painters is limited to 20 but the number of “Titulaires” (appointed for life) is not limited. Appointed Official Painters of the French Navy may also be sculptors, engravers, illustrators, photographers or designers.


Official Painters of the French Navy receive no remuneration from the Ministry of Defence.  They, only, have one obligation which is to participate every two years to the “Salon de la Marine” which is held at the Maritime Museum in Paris. The only privilege granted to them is to be able to add to their works an anchor after their signature.


Marie Détrée has been an Official Painter of the French Navy since 2010. She is also a graduate of the Fine Art School of Paris “Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris”. She lives and works in Paris and in Brittany, Western France. She paints and draws according to which French Navy ship she is on and sails around the globe.


Marie Détrée has embarked on various vessels, from patrol-boats to Projection and Command ships. She was the first woman, Official Painter of the French Navy, to go on board a nuclear submarine equipped with ballistic missiles : SNLE (“Le Triomphant”). She has also been on board the frigate “Vendémiaire” based in Noumea, New Caledonia (September to October, 2013). Her mission was to represent France at the International Fleet Review in Sidney. Recently, she was on board the “BPC Dixmude” to allow her to take part in the French and Belgian WW1 commemorations.


Prizes :


- Alphonse Cellier Prize, Art Academy, Paris.

- Bronze medal at the 39th and 40th Naval Exhibitions, Paris

- 2013 Fontenoy Prize awarded by French Navy Administrators


Medals :


- Atalanta medal

  (European Union – June, 2013 – Security and Defence Policy medal)

- National Defence medal with TAAF and Combat specifications

  (Defence Ministry – July, 2013)




Remerciements à M. Segrave pour la traduction