Louis Valtat (1869-1952), a french artist

Discover Louis Valtat (1869-1952), a great artist of the 20th century, forerunner and eclectic, Master of the solids of colours but also sculptor.

Louis Valtat (1869-1952)

French artist


Louis Valtat is an independent and forerunner artist, trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and at the Académie Julian, in which he meets many artists and befriended Albert André (1869-1954) and Pierre Blackwell (1867-1947). Louis Valtat is also acquainted with Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) and the Nabis group who will also influence his work at the outset more fastidious.


Freelance artist


After his training, Louis Valtat, sick, stayed in Banyuls and Collioure where he met Aristide Maillol (1861-1944).  He will also stay in Spain as well as in Arcachon. As with the Tawny painters, Louis Valtat also found the influence of Van Gogh, Gauguin or Cézanne.

These expressive paintings, post impressionistic, with very vivid tones have accents of pre-fauvism, Louis Valtat is part of the transition between Impressionism and fauvism. He then settled in Agay and in the Midi, where he met Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) at Cagnes and Paul Signac (1863-1935) in Saint-Tropez.

Although very present on the French Riviera, it is nevertheless exhibited in Brussels in 1903, Dresden in 1906, as well as in Berlin, Budapest, Prague and Moscow in 1908.

After 1914, he settled in Normandy, which he particularly fondly then bought a property in Choiseul, in the Vallée de Chevreuse, in 1924.


Forerunner artist


Very quickly, Louis Valtat uses vivid colors and virulent contrasts and wields brushes with a vigorous touch.

From 1900, he attracted the gaze of the merchant Ambroise Vollard (1866-1939) who was to acquire almost all of his works for 10 years.

Louis Valtat is a precursor artist of the Fauvism, he participates in the exhibition of the fawns of the autumn Salon of 1905. After the seaside and the lake landscapes, recurring themes of his work, his garden as well as the flowers, the bouquets of flowers and the fruits he cultivates become the motifs of predilections of his paintings.

In 1907, at the autumn Salon, Louis Valtat exhibited ceramic works performed in the atelier of André Metthey (1871-1920), to be seen at the Petit Palais Museum in Paris.

Likewise, under the impulse of Auguste Renoir, he will try the sculpture, as attested by the bronze standing child of 1909, presented on Bidtween, by the auction house, Sequana.


"Happy painters have no history" used to say Louis Valtat which perhaps explains that he was long regarded as a "petty master" while this prolific and eclectic artist deserves his place alongside the tawny painters such as Vlaminck, Matisse, Derain, Dufy as a pioneer of fauvism in the history of art and has everything from a great artist of the twentieth century.

A (re) discover on Bidtween!