Irene Hafliger GranvilleIrene Hafliger Granville
©Irene Hafliger Granville|Nathalie Thébault
Irene HäfligerAtelier de la Haute Ville

Irene Häfliger

A Swiss portraitist with a strong Granville flavour!

Irene Häfliger is a contemporary painter based since 2014 in her atelier gallery at L’Atelier de la Haute Ville in the heart of Granville’s upper town.



Irene Häfliger is a contemporary painter based since 2014 in her studio gallery at L’Atelier de la Haute Ville in the heart of Granville’s upper town.

She emphasizes spontaneity, vivacity, joie de vivre, by creating a sharp contrast with a raw, dark and opaque setting, leaving only a tiny place for hope, but where children, deeply optimistic, play, adapt to this changing world.

After 20 years of in-depth research into painting, in professions as diverse as designer, art practice facilitator, comic book colorist, illustrator and portrait painter, Irene mainly paints human beings.

L'atelier de la Haute Ville

is open all year round!

Irene Häfliger offers oil painting courses in her studio:

  • Mondays at 9:30am and 2pm, and Tuesdays at 1:30pm and 5pm, in weekly 3h sessions during school terms.
  • During the school vacations, Irene Häfliger runs intensive three-day courses on specific themes: live model portraiture, palette and color, landscape painting…

L’Atelier de la Haute Ville
2 rue Cambernon, 50400 Granville (Haute Ville district)

Why portraits?

“Portraiture is a very demanding but exciting discipline, which aims to search beyond likeness for that something intimate that speaks of the sitter’s soul. There is something of the order of a profound quest for what humanity is.”

To quote Fantin-Latour on this subject:”The soul is a little music that plays behind the curtain of flesh. We can’t see it, but we can make it heard.

How does the artist work?

In her more personal canvases, featuring luminous children in disquieting settings, Irene creates a chaotic material using plastic elements gathered from nature, country lanes, sea leash… They are then glued to the canvas, and the addition of gesso accentuates the rough effect of the material.

Before each painting, a sketch is made in very small format to create the harmony and balance of colors and contrasts.

Children play an important role in these compositions, the final layer of which is painted in oil.

Recycling this plastic waste into the backdrops of her canvases is a way of telling the story of the environment we are leaving our children, it serves the purpose. Irene tells herself stories… But let everyone tell their own in front of these paintings.

An ambassador for the town of Granville

Like other Destination Granville Terre et mer artists, Irene is also a ambassador of the town of Granville, as she exhibits her work at numerous art events outside the Channel and wins awards.

In 2023, she won a Mention at the Salon des Artistes Français at Art Capital, at the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris, as well as the Prix Privé Danielle Brisson-Drucker. In 2021, the Prix de la Ville de Caen for a painting on confinement.

“There’s something magical about Granville, an art of living, pure air, light, an opening onto dream islands… that attracts artists.”

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