HAYET, Louis
(b. 1864, Pontoise, d. 1940, Cormeilles-en-Parisis)


French painter and writer. He was the son of a dealer in stained glass and other decorations in Pontoise. He was largely self-taught and initially earned his living as an itinerant painter-decorator. In 1881 he met Lucien and Camille Pissarro while painting landscapes near Pontoise and through them met Paul Signac in 1885 and Seurat in 1886. After a year's military service at Versailles, Hayet moved to Paris in the autumn of 1887. There he began to apply to his paintings Eugène Chevreul's theories of colour contrast with which he had become familiar by 1881. A gifted watercolour painter, he also experimented with the ancient technique of wax encaustic, painting on a prepared cotton that allowed light to filter through. The paint surface of works such as The Grange (private collection) retains a vivid tonal freshness, while the subject of crowds of peasants gathered before the Paris agricultural market reveals a debt to Pissarro.

In 1889 he exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants. Between 1894 and 1897 he took part in the exhibitions of the Impressionists and Symbolists at Le Barc de Boutteville. To secure a regular income, he also worked as a theatre decor painter. In the 1890s he gave up his Neo-Impressionism in favour of a more conservative style.

In 1924 he published his auto-biography and in 1925 an essay on art.

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