He came to Paris in 1889 as an industrial designer. At the age of 23 he enrolled at the studio of William Bouguereau at the Académie Julian, where he met Ranson, Louis Valtat and the young poet and dramatist Henry Bataille, who at the time was training as a painter. He illustrated L'étang de Berre by Charles Maurras and Les Petites Alliées by Claude Farrère. He produced cartoons for tapestries for the Beauvais factory. In his youth he worked in Paris and Loudun, but later settled in the Midi, where he became curator of the museum in Bagnols-sur-Cèze, building up a major collection of contemporary art, including works by Monet, Renoir, Bonnard, Vuillard, Matisse and Despiau. In 1923, as a friend of Renoir, he compiled his recollections of the painter in a preface to an album of collotypes of his works.
He was initially influenced in his painting by Delacroix, and it was Cézanne's paintings that helped him discover how to give the impression of volume using colour: warm tones for illuminated surfaces and cool colours for shadow. But it was undoubtedly Renoir who had the most profound influence on him, especially as it was Renoir who noticed his paintings in 1894 and introduced him to Paul Durand-Ruel, who became his dealer. He painted a wide range of subjects, from particularly accomplished compositions involving figures in urban landscapes, to indoor scenes in which he toned down his colour palette. He painted scenes from Paris, Lyons, Marseilles and Laudun, numerous pictures of Bagnols-sur-Cèze, portraits of women, including Young Girl in Blue; Young Girl Pulling up her Stocking, and precious records of his contemporaries: Portrait of Renoir; Claude Monet in his Garden.
He began exhibiting at the Salon des Indépendants in 1894. Between 1904 and 1944 he exhibited at the Salon d'Automne, becoming a Salon member, and in 1927 he designed the poster for that year's exhibition. From 1923 onwards his work sometimes appeared at the Salon des Tuileries. In 1924 he exhibited in New York and Buenos Aires.
2001, Women in Provence and the Mediterranean (Le Femme en Provence et en Méditerranée), Fondation Regards de Provence, Château de Borély, Marseilles
1964, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Besançon
1965, Arthur Tooth Gallery, London
2004, Musée Louis Voulland, Avignon
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Épinal (Mus. départemental d'Art ancien et contemporain): Lunch at the Seaside (1918)
Lyons (MBA): In Provence
Narbonne (MAH): La Toilette (1952)
New York (MoMA)
Paris (MNAM-CCI): Lunch at the Seaside; Bather; Afternoon in Batignolles Square, or The Park (1923); Banks of the Seine (1930)
Paris (Mus. d'Orsay): Ball Game; Woman with Canary; Maleck Painting in his Studio; Music
Washington DC (NGA)