Adolphe Valette 1876-1942

Pierre Adolphe Valette was born in St Etienne, a small manufacturing town thirty-six miles south of Lyon. Little is known of his family and early life, except that his parents were poor and that he studied at the local art school in St Etienne. His second wife Andree, believed that he started working at sixteen, so it was about 1862 that he went to Lyon to work as an engraver and painter whilst continuing his studies.

He travelled a great deal and it was in Bordeaux where he was enrolled in evening classes that he won the crucial scholarship in 1903, which was to bring him to England. He enrolled in the painting course at the Birkbeck Institute in London. For some reason he left for Manchester after only a few months, arriving around Spring 1904. He worked for some time on private commissions and designing calendars and tickets.

In the evenings Valette attended classes at the Municipal School of Art and by 1906 he was on the staff and was soon Art Master. Between 1906-20 Valette's presence seems to have transformed the school of Art. One of his pupils was L.S. Lowry, who went on to achieve world wide fame. Lowry paid tribute to Valette on a number of occasions.

Whilst in Manchester Valette produced some stunning paintings of Manchester city scenes seen through an impressionist eye. He captured the city in all it's moods, from the bustling streets during the day through to the sombre stillness of the canals on a cold wintery evening. Lowry was obviously influenced by the way Valette painted Manchester.

He exhibited in Manchester in 1912 and with The Society of Modern Painters in Liverpool on a regular basis until he left England in 1928. He retired to his parents cottage in Blache. He continued to paint in the latter part of his life, concentrating mainly on French Landscapes.

In recent years exhibitions of his work have been held at Manchester City Art Gallery in 1976 and in 1994. Catalogues of these exhibitions are available for purchase from Clark Art Ltd. The Lowry Centre, Saeford held a hugely succesful exhibition between Nov 2011- Jan 2012. There is now great interest in Valette and new record prices are regulkarly being set at auction fro his work.

Adolphe Valette - Brief Chronology
13 October 1876
Born in Saint-Etienne, to a middle-class family.


Circa 1891
Enrolled at the Ecole Régionale des Arts Industriels in Saint-Etienne: in 1893, he came first in the engraving class. Amongst his tutors was Jean Dablin, who was later to be the founder of the Société des Arts du Forez' of which Valette was to become a member.

1895
Enrolled at the Ecole Municipale de Dessin de la Guillotiére in Lyon, where he won a large number of distinctions. Amongst his teachers was Tony Tollet, a painter very much in Vogue in Lyon at that time.

1900
Enrolled at the Ecole Municipale de Beaux-Arts et des Arts Décoratifs in Bordeaux.
He won numerous academic distinctions and worked during the day as a 'professional draughtsman.'

1903 and 1904
First exhibitions in Bordeaux, at the Société des Arts Girondins.

1904 or 1905
Arrived in England, for unknown reasons. Studied for a while in London at Birkbeck College and then went to Manchester. Worked during the day at the printing company Norbury Natzio and Co Ltd and in the evening as a student at the Municipal School of Art.

1905/06
He was appointed 'Master of Painting and Drawing' at the Manchester Municipal School of Art. He was much liked by his students, who valued the contribution of his French experience and his understanding of impressionism. L.S.Lowry was one of his pupils in the 'Life Drawing' classes and remained so for many years.

1906/07
First known oil paintings by Valette that have survived.

1908
First known 'Manchester-scape' by Valette: this is dated 18 March and has as its subject the Manchester Ship Canal.

1909
Married one of his students, Gabriella de Bolivar, of Venezuelan nationality: Gabriela was to be the artistic muse for his portraits.

Creation of 'Windsor Bridge on the Irwell'.

First exhibition of his canvases in the UK at the Autumn Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. He contributed further to this annual exhibition up to 1912.

1910
Birth of his only child, Pierre who was soon nicknamed Peter or Tita.

Creation of 'Albert Square', 'Oxford Road' and 'Hansom Cab at All Saints'.

1911
Creation of 'Old Cab at All Saints'.

1912
Co- Founder of the 'Society of Modern Artists'. Seven of his own works were shown at the first exhibition of this society.

Creation of 'india House', 'Bailey Bridge', and ' Under Windsor Bridge on the Irwell'.

1913
Change of name of the 'Society of Modern Artists' to the 'Society of Modern Painters'. At the exhibition of 1913 the avant-garde tendencies of certain members of the Society generated criticisms from some art critics.

New teaching roles at the Manchester School of Art, including the 'Etching Class' which had begun on an unofficial basis in c1909.

Creations of 'York Street leading to Charles Street', and 'The Irwell.'

1917
Death of his wife Gabriella.

1918
Valette's timetable at the Manchester School of Art is extended by the addition of numerous additional courses.

First Solo exhibition at the Finnigans Showrooms in Manchester, which was a resounding success and confirmed his reputation.

1919
Married a fellow French national, Andrée Pallez, who was a teacher of French at the University of Manchester.

1920
Second solo exhibition at the Finnigans Showrooms in Manchester which was equally as successful as the first.

Promoted to the position of 'Principal Master of Drawing' at the School of Art.

Health worries, amongst others arising from the poor working conditions at the School. He resigns his position.

Given that his reputation was at this point well-established, he began to receive an increasing number of commissions from public and private establishments.


1921
Took a part-time teaching position at the Bolton Municipal School of Art.

1922
In parallel with his role at the Bolton Art School,took up a further part-time teaching role at the University of Manchester.

1924, 1925, 1926 and 1928
Further exhibitions with the 'Society of Modern Painters'

1928
The purchase of nine of Valette's major canvases by the Manchester City Art Gallery.

Leaves Manchester and moves permanently to Blacé to the house he had inherited following the death of his mother.

His wife Andrée remained in England to continue teaching and Valette retained the services of a housekeeper, a young neighbour, Maria Lafond, who became his second artistic muse, for his portraits.

Revived the links he had always maintained with the 'Société des Arts du Forez', in Saint- Etienne.

From 1928 to 1940, he made many trips in the Midi, Alps, Pyrenees and other parts of France, and to the Balearics, and each time returned with a large number of water colours and oil paintings that he continued to sell in Manchester.

1929
Death of his son Peter, who had remained in England, from tubercular meningitis.

Purchase by the Musée de Saint-Etienne, of the canvas' Rocher Saint-Michel au Puy'.

Exhibition at the Sociéte Lyonnaise des Beaux-Arts, to which he continued to send works until 1939.

1930
Co-founded, with Jean Puy amongst others, the 'Association des Artistes Foréziens' in Saint-Etienne. Paul Signac was an honorary member.

Exhibition at the Salon des Artistes Foréziens, to which he continued to provide works until 1935.

1931
Personal exhibition of his works at the Galerie Livet in Saint-Etienne.

1936
Exposition at the Salon d'Automne, in Lyon. He was buried in Lyon in the public graveyard in the Guillotiére Nouveau cemetery.

1943
His widow Andrée arranged for his remains to be exhumed from the grave in Lyon and laid to rest next to those of his mother in a perpetual concession of his family in the cemetry of Villefranche-sur-Sa, where he still lies.


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Adolphe Valette - Adolphe Valette  by Cecilia Lyon

Book

10¾ x 8 ins (27.31 x 20.32 cms)

Price: £35.00

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Adolphe Valette - Aiguille de Varens

Adolphe Valette

Aiguille de Varens

Pastel

25 x 19 ins (63.50 x 48.26 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Beaujolais

Adolphe Valette

Beaujolais

Watercolour

10½ x 14½ ins (26.67 x 36.83 cms)

Price: £3,250.00

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Adolphe Valette - Blace

Adolphe Valette

Blace

Oil on Board

9 x 12 ins (22.86 x 30.48 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Blace

Adolphe Valette

Blace

Watercolour

10 x 12 ins (25.40 x 30.48 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Blace Landscape

Adolphe Valette

Blace Landscape

Oil on Board

6 x 9½ ins (15.24 x 24.13 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Chateau Bleu, La Combe, Blace

Oil on Canvas laid on Board

9 x 12½ ins (22.86 x 31.75 cms)

Price: £7,500.00

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Adolphe Valette - Chateau de Pravins, Blace

Adolphe Valette

Chateau de Pravins, Blace

Oil on Canvas laid on Board

8½ x 12 ins (21.59 x 30.48 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Church Stretton

Adolphe Valette

Church Stretton

Oil on Board

4½ x 6½ ins (11.43 x 16.51 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Environs de Viviers

Adolphe Valette

Environs de Viviers

Watercolour

9 x 12 ins (22.86 x 30.48 cms)

Price: £2,950.00

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Adolphe Valette - Gabriela in the Bedroom - Portrait of Gabriela de Bolivar

Oil on Canvas laid on Board

21 x 18 ins (53.34 x 45.72 cms)

P.O.A.

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Adolphe Valette - Gabriella Reading

Adolphe Valette

Gabriella Reading

Oil on Board

20 x 13 ins (50.80 x 33.02 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Grande Serre

Adolphe Valette

Grande Serre

Watercolour

10½ x 14½ ins (26.67 x 36.83 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - La Rochetaillee, St Etienne

Adolphe Valette

La Rochetaillee, St Etienne

Oil on Canvas laid on Board

12 x 16 ins (30.48 x 40.64 cms)

Price: £6,950.00

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Adolphe Valette - Les Coutances, La Combe, Blacé

Watercolour

9 x 12¼ ins (22.86 x 31.12 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Llanddulas

Adolphe Valette

Llanddulas

Watercolour

10.5 x 15.5 ins (26.67 x 39.37 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Ludlow Castle

Adolphe Valette

Ludlow Castle

Watercolour

9½ x 12½ ins (24.13 x 29.21 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Majorca

Adolphe Valette

Majorca

Oil on Canvas laid on Board

8¾ x 13¼ ins (22.23 x 33.66 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Maria Crocheting

Adolphe Valette

Maria Crocheting

Oil on canvas

16 x 13 ins (40.64 x 33.02 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Moustiers Saint- Marie, Bas Alps, France

Oil on Canvas laid on Board

18 x 23 ins (45.72 x 58.42 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Peasants Going Home

Adolphe Valette

Peasants Going Home

Oil on canvas

13 x 16 ins (33.02 x 40.64 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Polignac

Adolphe Valette

Polignac

Watercolour

10¼ x 13¾ ins (26.04 x 34.92 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Portrait Of A Young Woman With A Book

Oil on Board

22 x 18¼ ins (55.88 x 46.36 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Puerto Pollensa

Adolphe Valette

Puerto Pollensa

Oil on Canvas laid on Board

10 x 13¼ ins (25.40 x 33.66 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Romiley

Adolphe Valette

Romiley

Oil on Board

5¼ x 7¼ ins (13.34 x 18.42 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Romiley

Adolphe Valette

Romiley

Oil on Board

6 x 6½ ins (15.24 x 16.51 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Sheep Grazing Under a Tree

Adolphe Valette

Sheep Grazing Under a Tree

Oil on canvas

15 x 19 ins (38.10 x 48.26 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Sheep in a French Landscape

Adolphe Valette

Sheep in a French Landscape

Oil on Board

17 x 16 ins (43.18 x 40.64 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Sisteron

Adolphe Valette

Sisteron

Watercolour

11½ x 15 ins (29.21 x 38.10 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Sleeping Calf

Adolphe Valette

Sleeping Calf

Conti Drawing

7.5 x 9.5 ins (19.05 x 24.13 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - St Bonnet

Adolphe Valette

St Bonnet

Watercolour

10¼ x 14¼ ins (26.04 x 36.20 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - St Bonnet

Adolphe Valette

St Bonnet

Watercolour

9¼ x 12 ins (23.50 x 30.48 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - St Tropez

Adolphe Valette

St Tropez

Oil on Board

12½ x 17 ins (31.75 x 43.18 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Study for Cab at All Saints

Adolphe Valette

Study for Cab at All Saints

Oil on Board

3.25 x 6.25 ins (8.26 x 15.88 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Study of Maria

Adolphe Valette

Study of Maria

Oil on panel

16 x 13 ins (40.64 x 33.02 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Study, Fields and Plough

Adolphe Valette

Study, Fields and Plough

Oil on Board

5¼ x 7 ins (13.34 x 17.78 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Table Top Still Life

Adolphe Valette

Table Top Still Life

Oil on Board

20 x 24 ins (50.80 x 60.96 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Table Top Still Life with Elephant

Oil on Board

20 x 24 ins (50.80 x 60.96 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - The Ghost, Hamlet

Adolphe Valette

The Ghost, Hamlet

Pastel

20 x 25½ ins (50.80 x 64.77 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - The Lake District

Adolphe Valette

The Lake District

Oil on Board

6¼ x 9¼ ins (15.88 x 23.50 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Tyn-Y-Gongl, Anglesey

Adolphe Valette

Tyn-Y-Gongl, Anglesey

Oil on Board

6½ x 9½ ins (16.51 x 24.13 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Vaison

Adolphe Valette

Vaison

Oil on Canvas laid on Board

12 x 15 ins (30.48 x 38.10 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Valettes House in Blace

Adolphe Valette

Valettes House in Blace

Oil on Paper

8¾ x 14 ins (22.23 x 35.56 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Viaduc de Salles en Beaujolais

Watercolour

10.25 x 14.75 ins (26.04 x 37.47 cms)

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Adolphe Valette - Woodley

Adolphe Valette

Woodley

Oil on Board

5¼ x 7¼ ins (13.34 x 18.42 cms)

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General Information

Opening Times
Tues - Sat 10.00am - 5.30 pm
All other times by appointment

Contact

Clark Art Ltd
155, Ashley Road, Hale
Cheshire, WA14 2UW

Tel: +44 (0)161 929 5150
Mobile: +44 (0)7973 755680
Email: art@clark-art.co.uk