Renoir Fine Art would like to thank Louis-André
Valtat, the painter's grandson, for his permission to use the
biography from the site dedicated to his grandfather. This site
is one of the many initiatives of the Friends of Louis Valtat.
The aim of this Association is to promote the knowledge of Louis
For every art's lover who wants to learn more on
Louis Valtat, this site is an essential source of information
on the painter, precursor of fauvism.
When visiting www.valtat.com,
you'll learn more about the period, find a list of books on Valtat,
the complete list of museums displaying his paintings and much
more. You can also join the Association of the Friends of Louis
Valtat and help them with the promotion of this wonderful artist.
|Sur le Boulevard, 1893
|La Teste de Buch, 1895-96
|Sur les Rochers, 1899
|Le Peignoir blanc, 1916
|Le Bois de Boulogne, 1930
|Le Jardin de l'Artiste
à Choisel, 1930
Louis Valtat was born in Dieppe on 8 August,
1869. He studied at le Lycée Hoche in Versailles where
his parents lived. In 1886, when he was 17 years old, he applied
for admission at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and completed his training
at the Académie Julian where he made friends with Albert
André and Pierre Bonnard.In 1890, he won the Jauvin dAttainville
prize; he then set up his workshop at rue de La Glacière
in Paris. In 1893, he took part in the Salon des Artistes Indépendants
for the first time. His paintings covered one main theme: the
life in the neighbouring streets such as Sur le boulevard
which Félix Fénéon duly noted.
By the end of 1894, he achieved a scenery for
the theater lOeuvre in collaboration with Toulouse
Lautrec and with Albert Andrés help
at Lugné. Simultaneously, his engravings and paintings
were exhibited at the Salon des Cent.
As he was suffering from pulmonary consumption,
he often went to Banyuls for treatment where he met George-Daniel
de Monfreid, who introduced him to Aristide Maillol. He went on
several trips to Spain, either to Llança or Figueras.
In 1895, as he was still recovering from his
illness in Arcachon, Louis Valtat painted numerous pictures with
striking colours; these paintings were exhibited at the Salon
des Indépendants in 1896 where Félix Fénéon
noticed them and mentioned them in la Revue Blanche. These paintings
introduced the Fauvist style which was thought of as just as outrageous
then as ten years later at the Salon dAutomne in 1905.
In March 1899, Paul Signac organized a joint
exhibition at la Galerie Durand Ruel where Louis Valtat presented
twenty paintings entitled Notations dAgay, 1899".
During the winter 1897-8, he used to spend the
season in Agay, a small fishing village of fishermen close to
Saint Raphaël and, later on, in Anthéor, a few kilometers
away. He was accompanied by Suzanne whom he married in 1900.
The same year, thanks to Renoirs friendly
recommendation, Ambroise Vollard made an agreement with Valtat,
buying almost his whole production for the next 10 years.
When staying in Anthéor, Valtat and Suzanne
often went across the Estérel, sometimes on their bicycles,
to visit Auguste Renoir who rented la Maison de la Poste
in Cagnes at that time. During one of these visits in 1903, Renoir
painted thePortrait de Suzanne while Valtat drew a
few ink sketches of Renoir. Later on, he used these sketches for
engraving on wood. Paul Signac was staying in Saint Tropez, 40
kilometers from Anthéor. Valtat had exchanged his painting
Le Cap Roux for Paul Signacs fuel car, La Bollée.
Thanks to this car, the distance between the two places was easily
covered during the day.
Though living far from Paris, Louis Valtat took
part in the Brussels exhibition La Libre Esthétique
in 1900 where he presented Le jardin du Luxembourg and Le boulevard
Saint Michel. He was also present in 1903 at the Gebaüde
der Secession in Vienna, in 1906 at the Kunst Salon Ersnt
Arnold in Dresde, and at the Berline Secession in Berlin as well
as in Budapest, Praha, and in 1908 at the Moskva Tretyakov Galerie
in Moscow. The Russian collector, Ivan Morossov bought from Vollard
several pictures painted by Valtat.
Ambroise Vollard dispatched Valtats paintings
to the exhibitions which were held in Paris. In 1905, as one of
his paintings was reproduced in the magazine LIllustration
next to those of Henri Manguin, Henri Matisse, André Derain
and Jean Puy, he got mixed up with the Fauvism scandal
at the Salon dAutomne.
In the Spring and Summer time, Louis Valtat used
to go to the seaside, particularly to paint. He liked to go to
Port en Bessin, Arromanches and, later on, Ouistreham in Normandy.
Valtat with his wife were living in his parents
house in Versailles when they were not in Anthéor or in
Normandy. However, in 1905, they moved to la Butte Montmartre,
at rue Girardon and then place Constantin Pecqueur. In 1914, Louis
Valtat moved to lavenue de Wagram, close to lArc de
Triomphe and to the Bois de Boulogne whose lakes very often appeared
in his work.
In 1914, Louis Valtat stopped travelling to Antheor.
In 1924, after 10 years of being deprived the pleasure of a garden,
he bought a house in Choisel, a small village in the Chevreuse
valley. He spent the major part of the year in that place. His
garden as well as the flowers and fruits which he grew, became
his favorite theme for his paintings. In Choisel, Valtat liked
to host his friends, Georges dEspagnat or Maximilien Luce
who painted the village church on a visit.
He was made chevalier of the Legion dHonneur
in 1927; at the 1951 exhibition on the Fauvism, which took place
at the Modern Art National Museum in Paris, six of his paintings
were shown among which no. 116, entitled Arbres.
After the 1940 exodus and the following "occupation's
years , Louis Valtat had serious problems with his eyes (glaucoma)
and seldom left his workshop located at lavenue de Wagram,
where he realized his last paintings dated 1948.
- Daniel Wildenstein, Yves Styravidès,
Marchands d'Art, Plon
- Jean-Paul Potron, Voir en peinture:
paysage de Cannes, l'Estérel des XIXe et XXe siècles,
- Ambroise Vollard, Souvenir
d'un marchand de tableaux, Albin Michel
All Images and texts copyright © L.A
All the images used here, can be viewed in bigger size on Louis
Valtat official web site.