(b Paris, May 27, 1871; d Paris, Feb 13, 1958).
French painter, draughtsman and printmaker. Although he first came to prominence with works displayed in 1905 at the Salon d’Automne in Paris, in the company of paintings by Henri Matisse and other initiators of Fauvism, he established a highly personal and emotive style. His technique and palette were also highly personal, and they ranged from watercolour blues to a rich, thick application of materials. These demonstrate, in their very complexity, not only originality but also the craft of the artist always in search of a greater form of expression. Even though he never stopped observing mankind, his deep religious feeling allowed him to imbue his work with great spirituality.
Rouault was born to a humble family during the brief period of the Paris Commune. Through his maternal grandfather, Alexandre Champdavoine, an unassuming post office employee, he discovered artists such as Courbet, Manet and Honoré Daumier at an early age. Having shown a lively interest in drawing at school, at the age of 14 Rouault became a glazier’s apprentice with ...