Les vases de fleurs

by Louis Valtat


Out Of Stock

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 22.00 x 18.25 in./ 55.88  x 46.36 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

Catalogue No: 4707 Categories: ,

Les Vases de Fleurs is a prime example of Louis Valtat’s signature use of vibrant colours. Depicting a bouquet of blooming flowers, this beautiful painting is a refreshing take on the traditional still life category. Valtat’s use of simple shapes and lack of shadow lend the composition a unique brightness and draw attention to his skills as a colourist.


Atelier Matignon, Paris;

Galerie d’art Michel Bigue, Québec (purchased from the above c. 1987);

Private Collection, Canada



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Louis Valtat was born in the Normandy, France in 1869 to a wealthy family of ship owners. His father, an amateur painter, encouraged his interest in art, and at the age of seventeen decided on an artistic career. In 1887, he moved to Paris and enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts.


Later, Valtat studied at the Académie Julian under Jules Dupré, a landscape painter of the Barbizon school. He became close friends with fellow students Albert André, Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, and Edouard Vuillard, who, at that time, were members of the Nabis movement that was heavily influenced by Paul Gauguin. While Valtat’s work was never associated with this movement, he learned the Gauguin method of painting and it would remain a major influence for the rest of his career.


After winning the Jauvin d’Attainville prize in 1890, Louis Valtat set up his own studio in Paris. In 1893, he exhibited at the Salon des Independents, paintings of the street scenes surrounding his studio. His submission of Sur Le Boulevard caught the attention of art critic, Felix Fénéo. Valtat’s work from this time incorporated techniques from both the Impressionist and Pointillist Schools.


At the end of 1894, Louis Valtat collaborated with Henri Toulouse Lautrec and his friend Albert André on the set of the play Chariot de terre cuite (The Terracotta Chariot). At that time, Valtat began to suffer from tuberculosis and travelled to the South of France to convalesce. There he met a number of artists including Georges-Daniel de Monfried, a friend of Gauguin. In 1895, he visited Spain, and then returned to continue his recovery in the South of France.


While in Arcachon, Valtat was greatly inspired by the Southern light, as well as the artists who worked there. His work began to employ an intense and joyful colour palette, which he exhibited at the 1896 Salon of Independent Artists. These works were once again noticed by Fénéon, who praised them in a review in La Revue Blanche. While these brightly coloured paintings reflected the spontaneity of Impressionism, he gives more definition to the shapes and objects of his compositions than artists of that group. Influenced by Vincent Van Gogh and Gauguin, Valtat painted large areas with vivid colours, and applied thick brushstrokes. Van Gogh’s influence is noticeable in the swirling, divisionist quality of Valtat’s brushwork.


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