Who is the artist Pierre Soulages?

Pierre Soulages is a French painter known for his use of the colour black. He was one of the pioneers of the Lyrical Abstraction movement, alongside Hans Hartung and Gérard Schneider.

Pierre Soulages was born on 24 December 1919 in Rodez, France. Soulages developed a fascination for Romanesque art and prehistoric times from an early age. Particularly fond of studying photos of the Lascaux caves, he was also enthralled by the engraved menhirs exhibited at the Fenaille Museum in his native town, as well as the Abbey Church of Sainte-Foy in Conques. It was on a visit to the latter that he decided to become a painter. Soulages started off by making paintings of snowy landscapes.

The painter Pierre Soulages moved to Paris to study at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts at the age of 18 years old. Finding the teaching too conformist, however, the French painter decided to leave the capital and return to Rodez. Soulages was posted to Montpellier in 1941 and attended the city’s École des Beaux-Arts. It was during this period that the painter met Sonia Delaunay, who introduced him to abstract painting. In 1946, Soulages dedicated himself fully to his career as a painter.

If you would like to find out more about the French painter Pierre Soulages and his works, please visit the artist’s dedicated page.

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