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Louis Valtat (French: [valta]; 8 August 1869 – 2 January 1952); French painter and printmaker associated with the Fauves ("the wild beasts", so named for their wild use of color), who first exhibited together in 1905 at the Salon d'Automne. He is noted as a key figure in the stylistic transition in painting from Monet to Matisse.
....Valtat exhibited widely during his career. In 1894, he collaborated with both Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Albert André in creating the decor for the Paris theater "L'Œuvre" at the request of Lugné Poë.
Valtat suffered from tuberculosis, and he spent many autumn/winter seasons along the Mediterranean coast in Banyuls, Antheor and Saint-Tropez. Beginning in 1900, Valtat made several journeys by bicycle to visit Auguste Renoir at the Maison de la Poste in Cagnes. There, Valtat made several portrait drawings of Renoir on which he based a subsequent woodcut, and the two artists collaborated on a sculpture of Cézanne. Another friend of Valtat was Paul Signac, whom he visited often, traveling in a small Bollée motorcar that he acquired ca. 1904 from Signac in exchange for his painting Women at the Seashore. During his time spent near the Mediterranean, Valtat intensified his use of color and began to express his Fauvist tendencies, particularly in painting seascapes. Art historian Natalie Henderson Lee identifies Valtat as a "proto-Fauve", although he remained somewhat apart from the Fauve group, and never adopted their extreme boldness in the treatment of form and color.
After 1914 he worked in Paris and in areas near Rouen and Versailles. The subjects of his paintings included flowers, landscapes, and scenes of contemporary life, and he produced many prints. Valtat continued to paint until 1948, when the glaucoma from which he had suffered for several years resulted in the loss of his sight. He died on 2 January 1952 in Paris.