Louis Valtat 1869-1952

Louis Valtat 1869-1952

Louis Valtat was a French painter, printmaker and stage designer. He spent much of his youth in Versailles until his move to Paris in 1887. There he studied under Gustave Moreau at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and under Jules Dupre at the Academie Julian, where he met Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Albert Andre. Keenly interested in both artistic precedents and contemporary trends, he absorbed in the mid-1890s the chief tenets of Impressionism, Pointillism and van Gogh’s work before slowly developing his own style.


From 1899 to 1914 Valtat divided much of his time between Paris and a house he built in Antheor, near le Lavandou. Earlier in his career he had also traveled and broadened his contacts with other artists considerably. In 1894 and early 1895 he spent time with Aristide Maillol in Banyuls and Collioure. He visited Auguste Renoir several times between 1900 and 1905 at Magagnosc, near Grasse; they collaborated on a sculpted bust of Cezanne and their portraits of each other included a wood engraving of Renoir. Valtat also visited Signac at St. Tropez in 1903 and 1904 and recorded North African street life in several oil sketches. As early as 1893 Valtat exhibited at the Salon des Independants, La Libre Esthetique in Brussels in 1900, and the groundbreaking Salon d’Automne in 1903. Among the reproductions in Louis Vauxcelle’s review of the Salon d’Automne of 1905, in which the term ‘Fauve’ was first used, was a loosely brushed marine scene by Valtat.

Museum Collections Include:
Museum of Modern Art, New York; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris; Musee du Petit Palais, Paris; Musee des Arts Decoratif, Paris; Musee Bernay, Le Havre; Helsinki Museum; Musee des Beaux-Arts, Nantes; Musee des Beaux-Arts, Nimes; Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid