Louis Valtat (1869-1952) Bouquet de dahlias 39 1/4 x 32 in (99.7 x 81.3 cm) (Painted in 1929)
Lot 13
Louis Valtat
(1869-1952)
Bouquet de dahlias 39 1/4 x 32 in (99.7 x 81.3 cm)
Sold for US$ 87,500 inc. premium

Impressionist & Modern Art

15 May 2018, 17:00 EDT

New York

Lot Details
Louis Valtat (1869-1952)
Bouquet de dahlias
signed 'L.Valtat' (lower right)
oil on canvas
39 1/4 x 32 in (99.7 x 81.3 cm)
Painted in 1929

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Edgardo Acosta Gallery, Beverly Hills.
    Private collection, Seattle (acquired from the above and sold; Bonhams, New York, 9 May 2011, lot 1020).
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.

    Literature
    J. Valtat, Louis Valtat, Catalogue de l'oeuvre peint, 1869 - 1952, vol. I, Paris, 1977, no. 2084 (illustrated p. 232).

    Painted in 1929 Bouquet de Dahlias is a vibrant example of Valtat's ability to utilize color with great mastery, a quality that his close friend Pierre-Auguste Renoir admired. It was Valtat's virtuosity with color that led Renoir to introduce him to the famous art dealer, Ambroise Vollard, to whom he proclaimed: "I was in Brittany when I saw the young artist, one day, putting the last touches to a study. I was struck by the happy harmony of color throughout his painting." (Renoir quoted in Recollections of a Picture Dealer, Boston, 1936, p. 197). It was due to Renoir's recommendation that the dealer represented Valtat from 1900 to 1912. It was during these years of Vollard's representation that the artist participated in many exhibitions at the Salon des Indépendants, and held his first solo exhibition. Valtat was also included in the infamous 1905 exhibition at the Salon d'Automne where he exhibited alongside Henri Matisse, Henri Manguin and André Derain. The Fauves, as they came to be known, were distinguished by their fascination with brilliant, vibrant colors such as those in Bouquet de Dahlias.

    Louis Valtat was born in 1869 into a wealthy family of ship owners based in Normandy, and later moved to Versailles where he spent his formative years. It was his father, an amateur landscape painter, who inspired Valtat to become an artist and to attend the École des Beaux Arts in 1887. Following his time at the École des Beaux Arts, Valtat enrolled at the Académie Julian, to study under the Barbizon landscape painter, Jule Dupré. His fellow students were Albert André, Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard, all founding members of Les Nabis.

    While Valtat incorporated many elements from the Impressionist and Pointillist movements in his work, and was connected to both the Fauvists and Nabis movements, the artist has always been difficult to categorize. To such an extent, that in the catalogue of his major retrospective in the Musée de Lodève in 2011, Claudine Grammont describes "Valtat as an artist is difficult to situate within the context of the history of art and – for want of any better classification – has by default been labelled an independent painter" (Louis Valtat, à l'aube du fauvisme (exhibition catalogue), Musée de Lodève 2011, p. 23).

    Valtat was passionate about the representation of nature, of flowers, fresh fruit and still-lifes. Prior to the first World War, the artist spent many years in the south of France in Estérel where he painted bouquets from his garden. However, due to the outbreak of the First World War, he was forced to stop travelling there and was deprived of his greatest pleasure. After 10 years, Louis Valtat moved to Choisel, a small village in the Vallée de Chevreuse where he bought a house with a garden. There he rediscovered the pleasures of the outdoors, and it was in this period of rediscovery and joy that Bouquet de Dahlias was painted.
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