Naive art by St Pierre Toussaint. Born in 1923, spent most of his life working as a gardener. He was about fifty years old when he began to paint in 1972 after watching Michelle Manuel paint. Encouraged by her and his patron, Albert Mangones, St Pierre devoted most of his time to his new passion. A talented painter, he expressed his feelings through his work, painting mostly birds, flowers and voodoo spirits. He died September 25th, 1985 in kenscoff.
Artistic activity began in Haiti centuries ago Although most Haitian Arts historian claimed that the “Centre d’art” is the birthplace of Haitian Arts, it is evident that during and after colonial times, artistic movements have always been encouraged. Leaders such as Alexandre Petion and Henry Christophe showed great interest in the development of art. A French artist founded an art school in Port-Au-Prince in 1816. Later, in 1846, the “Imperial Academy of the Arts was founded under Faustin Soulouque, an art lover the most famous painter of that school was Desroches Numa (1802-1881).
The Centre D’art: With the foundation of the” Centre D’art” in 1944 in Port-Au-Prince by Dewitt Peters, Haitian art sprang forward. Finally, those artistically untrained painters were given an environment in which they could develop their skills and express themselves. They were called the first generation of artists and earned the admiration of the western world. Those talented self-taught artists were Hector Hyppolyte, Wilson Bigaud, Castera Bazile, Philome Obin and Rigaud Benoit. Voodoo was the most depicted subject in their works.
While the Centre D’art was the best place to learn and exhibit in Port-Au-Prince, other art schools were founded in other parts of the country. Philome Obin created the “School of Cap-Haitian”, Prefete Duffaut founded the “School of Jacmel”, Lucien Price and Cedor founded “Foyer Des Arts Plastiques”,etc.
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