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    Description

    Louis Valtat (French, 1869-1952)
    Mère et enfant, 1910
    Oil on canvas
    38-1/2 x 51 inches (97.8 x 129.5 cm)
    Initialled lower right: L.V.

    PROPERTY FROM A PROMINENT HOUSTON, TEXAS ESTATE

    PROVENANCE:
    Juster Gallery, New York;
    Private collection, Texas, acquired by the above, 1962.

    Louis Valtat was among the pioneers and most significant proponents of early 20th-century Modernism in France. As a young student in Paris, Valtat became associated with a rebellious group of student artists known as Les Nabis, including Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, and Edouard Vuillard, who had banded together at the Académie Julian and forged a cutting edge approach to art. The Nabis retained the elements of representation, but simplified and flattened shapes, created an unrealistic sense of space, used patterning, and unexpected colors, all of which created a decorative surface, directly inspired by Japanese woodblock prints.

    Armed with tenets from the Nabis, and influences from Van Gogh and the Pointillists, Valtat began to develop his own distinctive style, which came under another powerful inspiration in 1905. That year he participated in the groundbreaking first exhibition of the Fauvist group at the Salon d'Automne along with Matisse, Vlaminck, Derain and others. The term Fauves was coined by a critic writing pejoratively about these 'Wild Beasts' ' use of unprecedentedly bold, painterly shapes and fiery colors. Though he was associated with the movement, Valtat always remained on the periphery, adopting the bright colors and painterly forms, but never quite embracing the degree of distortion in line and abandonment of local color of others in the group.

    Valtat's Mère et enfant sur la canapé of 1910 is a remarkable example of the artist's personal synthesis of the most modern art movements of his period. This work likely depicts the artist's wife and son whom he often painted at their home in Versailles. Grand in scale yet intimate, and bold yet tender, this work moves beyond an intellectual exercise to a warm glimpse into Valtat's personal life.

    This painting will be included in the archives of the Association of the Friends of Louis Valtat under the number 3885.


    Condition Report*: Unlined canvas; craquelure and minor surface grime; under UV light, there appears to be no inpaint. Framed Dimensions 47.5 X 60.75 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2018
    8th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 992

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