(French, 1869–1952) was a French painter, straddling the stylistic transition from Impressionism to Fauvism. Valtat was born in Dieppe in the Normandy region of France, and moved to Paris at age 17 to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He continued his studies at Academie Julian in Paris, meeting fellow students Albert André
(French, 1869–1954), Pierre Bonnard
(French, 1867–1947), and Édouard Vuillard
(French, 1868–1940), calling themselves Les Nabis. He was awarded the Jauvin d’Attainville prize in 1890, and presented his first show at the Salon of Independent Artists in 1893. His early work consisted mainly of street scenes, painted with classic Impressionist and Pointillist techniques of rapid brush strokes and intense color. In 1894, he collaborated with Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
(French, 1862–1901) creating set designs for the Parisian theatre L’Œuvre.
Valtat suffered from tuberculosis, and beginning in 1900, traveled often to the Spanish and French Mediterranean for its favorable climate. There, he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir
(French, 1841–1919) and Paul Signac
(French, 1863–1935), famously collaborating on a bust of Paul Cézanne
(French, 1839–1906) with Renoir. This time marked increased experimentation in Valtat’s style, and his work was included in the famous Salon d’Automne in 1905, where the term Fauvism was first coined to describe the new artistic trend of bold coloration. Valtat returned to Paris full time in 1914, continuing to paint landscapes and works inspired by his garden. He was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 1927. His work is included in the collections of the Hermitage Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Musée d’Orsay, among others.