Oil painting, Art, Oil on canvas

Still Life – Louis Valtat (1869-1952)

Louis Valtat Fr4 Louis Valtat - sur-la-plage

Louis Valtat (1869-1952) was a French painter and printmaker associated with the Fauves.


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The first paintings he entered for the Salon des Artistes Indépendants in 1893 were scenes of the daily life in the surrounding streets including Sur le Boulevard (a canvas positively noted by the art critic and writer Félix Fénéon). At the end of 1894, in collaboration with Henri de Toulouse Lautrec and aided by Albert André, he created the décor for the theatre L’Oeuvre at the request of Lugné Poë. His engravings and paintings were hung at the exhibition of the Salon des Cent.

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A group exhibition was organised by Paul Signac at the famous Durand Ruel Gallery in March 1899, where Valtat exhibited twenty canvases, fifteen of which were shown under the heading Notations d’Agay, 1899. He was married in 1900 and in the same year, on the advice of Renoir, Ambroise Vollard made an agreement with Valtat, buying practically all his work for the next ten years.


Oil on Canvas - 10" 1/2 x 15" 3/4

Oil on Canvas – 10″ 1/2 x 15″ 3/4

Valtat travelled extensively around Europe. During one of their stays at Anthéor, the Valtats often crossed the Estérel hills to visit Auguste Renoir, who had rented the Maison de la Poste in Cagnes. On one such visit in 1903, Renoir painted the Portrait de Suzanne Valtat, while Valtat made a number of pen and ink studies for a Portrait de Renoir. The distance from Anthéor to Saint Tropez was about 40 kilometres, so that it was easy to make a day’s visit to Paul Signac. In the spring and summer Louis Valtat went eagerly to Normandy, to get back to the seaside and above all to paint, staying in Port en Bessin, Arromanches, and later at Ouistreham.
As he was often absent from Paris, his dealer, Ambroise Vollard, had taken over responsibility for sending in his entries for the Salons. Louis Valtat became involved in the uproar over “Fauvisme” at the 1905 Salon d’Automne because one of his canvases was reproduced in the magazine “L’Illustration” next to paintings by Henri Manguin, Henri Matisse, André Derain and Jean Puy.
By now the recognition of his fellow artists was assured and he was also appointed Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur in 1927. At his last public appearance, for the Fauvism exhibition held in the summer of 1951 at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, he attended the exhibition of six of his paintings. The crisis came at the end of 1951, when Louis Valtat was moved to a clinic in Paris, where he died on 2 January 1952.


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