(b Bordeaux, July 5, 1885; d Paris, Jan 25, 1962).
French painter, critic and teacher. From the age of 12 he was apprenticed by his father to a maker of wood-carvings. He followed the course in decorative arts at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux and did not definitively abandon ornamental sculpture for painting until 1905. Perhaps as a consequence, Lhote was one of the few 20th-century artists and theoreticians who not only accepted the term ‘decorative’ in connection with art but also exalted it, finding in mural painting the highest public realization of his ambitions. Like Albert Gleizes and Fernand Léger, he welcomed the limitations of wall painting because its conditions insisted on flatness as integral to a large plane surface.
The first paintings shown by Lhote to a large public in Paris, at the Salon d’Automne of 1907, were characterized by vigorous brushstrokes and bright colours. While they had affinities with Fauvism, they were already disciplined by his admiration for Cézanne, visible in the break-up of surfaces into smaller planes. These early works were mostly landscapes; a few larger religious paintings from as late as ...