165
165

L'ART DE VIVRE: PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF KATHLEEN AND MARTIN FIELD

Louis Valtat
ESPAGNOLES À LA FONTAINE
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 137,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
165

L'ART DE VIVRE: PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF KATHLEEN AND MARTIN FIELD

Louis Valtat
ESPAGNOLES À LA FONTAINE
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 137,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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Louis Valtat
1869 - 1952
ESPAGNOLES À LA FONTAINE
Signed L. Valtat (lower right)
Oil on canvas
32 by 39 1/4 in.
81.2 by 99.6 cm
Painted in 1895. 
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Provenance

Galerie Hopkins-Thomas, Paris
Private Collection, Dallas
Acquired from the above on November 15, 1988

Literature

Jean Valtat, Louis Valtat, Catalogue de l’oeuvre peint, 1869-1952, vol. I, Paris, 1977, no. 88, illustrated p. 10

Catalogue Note

Louis Valtat’s position in the canon of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art has, for a significant part of the twentieth century, been much overlooked. However, from the late 1960s, through a number of retrospectives and Valtat’s re-appraisal by art historians as one of the forerunners of Fauvism, the artist’s work has begun to find its true place alongside his contemporaries Henri Matisse and André Derain. "Today, when the history of the development of painting is seen in its proper perspective, these lesser-known artists are regaining the status they deserve. Among them, Louis Valtat is one of the most outstanding, and it is astonishing that, in his lifetime, he attracted only the attention of connoisseurs rather than the universal recognition which he should legitimately have shared with his more famous contemporaries” (George Besson, Valtat et ses amis: Albert André, Charles Camoin, Henri Manguin, Jean Puy (exhibition catalogue), Musée des Beaux-Arts, Besançon, 1964, p. 20).

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Valtat was born into a wealthy family and was actively encouraged to become an artist by his father. In 1887 Valtat moved to Paris to enter the École des Beaux-Arts and subsequently the Académie Julian to study under the Barbizon landscape painter Jules Dupré. During this time Valtat immersed himself in the Parisian art scene, learning and incorporating the tenets of Impressionism, Pointillism and a bold use of color that would come to define his work.

In 1894, Valtat developed tuberculosis and spent the autumn and winter along the Mediterranean coast in Banyuls, Antheor, Saint-Tropez and Spain. It was during a trip to Spain in the following year that Valtat painted the present work. He had often been inspired by Dupré's example to paint landscapes, and he remained true to this passion on his travels. The present work depicts a scene of two Spanish peasants cooling off from the midday heat beside a rural fountain. The vivid and intense tones of red, blue and yellow are complimented by the expressive use of thick brushstrokes. Valtat's paintings of this period are characterized by a violent, intense color which clearly prefigures the Fauves. His care in portraying everyday subject matter and the play of light and movement meanwhile shows his debt to the Impressionists. Areas of the canvas are painted with Pointillist delicacy and restraint, but these are overtaken by the broader more emphatic strokes that recall van Gogh, whose art he had seen in Paris (see fig. 1).

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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