Henri Ottmann made his debut at the Salon de la Libre Esthétique in Brussels in 1904 and took part in the Salon des Indépendants in Paris from 1905, the Salon d'Automne, the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Salon des Tuileries in Paris.
He was a delicate colourist and a painter of great sensitivity of expression, but was ignored by critics for a long time. His work is now beginning to be recognised and appreciated. He revered Renoir's work, from which he derived a certain rawness of tone. He intended to create huge compositions taken from contemporary life in a very modern way. His early years had been uncomfortable - he had experienced poverty, which led him to produce works that would appeal to art collectors. There are vigorous still-lifes dating from this period, which, however, show no boldness of technique. As soon as he became well-known, he refined his style and simplified his drawing and his colours. He gravitated towards sensual smoothness, painting charming pictures of the female form. He expressed his artistic talent best in his paintings of nudes. One of his last major works, Toilette, gives a glimpse of what his paintings might have been like if he had been able to mature fully.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Paris (former Mus. du Luxembourg): Courtesan Sleeping
Paris (MAMVP): Bridge at Meulan
Rouen: Interior with Pink Dress