Valtat had already been painting before his admission to l’Ecole; he was probably encouraged to do so by his father, who was himself an amateur landscape painter and had participated in the first Salon des Indépendants in 1884: his painting entitled “Marine” could be seen among the work of other painters such as Seurat, Odilon Redon, Guillaumin, Cross, Angrand…
At l’Ecole des Beaux Arts, Louis Valtat’s teachers were Gustave Boulanger, Jules Lefèbvre and, later on, Benjamin Constant. Contrary to what has previously been thought, he never studied at Gustave Moreau’s Studio.
In 1890, he won the Jauvin d’Attainville prize. The painting for which he received the first prize, and which was kept by l’Ecole des Beaux Arts, does not however reflect the painter’s personality, as he was obliged to accept his teachers’ view on the matter.
The paintings completed by Valtat in his youth cannot be testified as achieved during that time. Therefore, La Lettre, dated 89, may be used as a reference to the Catalogue of Louis Valtat’s Work for all previous, contemporary and later dating.
One of the last paintings Valtat realized as he was practically blind bears the date 48 of the following century.
Valtat painted for nearly 60 years, leaving a great deal of his work to posterity. After his death, some of his paintings were either wrongly named, situated or dated through exhibitions or sales.
Many paintings were peremptorily dated and, sometimes, wrongly situated by Jean Valtat who published a catalogue in 1977. Today, this catalogue appears quite obsolete as a great number of the major paintings such as “La lettre”, 1889, are not included.
It is about time to clarify the matter
The objectives of this catalogue are: to achieve a strict classification of the work with a dating as precise as possible; to mention the exhibitions, or to indicate the most important collections that have included Louis Valtat’s work, are the objectives of this catalogue.
The Catalogue of Louis Valtat’s Work
is being edited by his grandson, Louis-André Valtat,
Should you wish to include one painting in
The Catalogue of Louis Valtat’s Work,
please kindly send any picture or information to:
17 Rue du Bérange F – 34670 St Brès