Andre Lhote is often referred to as the "academician of Cubism" for his defense of the style and his many writings and publications throughout his career. He was not originally an adherent of this school however. He began his formal studies in the studio of a local woodcarver while he also attended l'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Bordeaux, France.
By the time he was twenty he had transitioned into painting and set up his own studio in a small attic space. He supported himself during this period by giving lessons and repairing antiques. Lhote would remain a dedicated teacher throughout his entire life.
While practicing his art he became friendly with noted collector Gabriel Frizeau, who introduced Lhote to classical form in painting as well as the modern art scene developing in France. This friendship is also credited with initiating Lhote's interest in criticism.
The early canvases produced by Lhote are very similar in style to those of Fauvists, who relied on bold strokes of brilliant color and simplified form to convey their subject. After viewing the work of Paul Cezanne in 1907, Lhote's work began to turn more in the direction of the developing movement known as "Cubism".
In 1908 the Groupe du Bateau Lavoir was formed, of which Lhote was one of the earliest members, and which would eventually become the Monmartre Cubist Society. Though his first exhibition work was at the 1907 Paris Salon d'Automne, he drew acclaim from his work exhibited at the opening exhibition of the Cubist movement in Paris. The 1901 Salon des Independants was such as success that Lhote received an offer for a solo show at the Galerie Druet, which was in turn a major triumph, and he would continue to exhibit at the Salons of 1911 and 1912.
The coming of World War I halted the artist's work while he served in the Armed Forces, but he immediately re-entered the scene after the War, contributing criticism to newspapers, journals and magazines and participating in the development of Synthetic Cubism. He participated in the Salon de la Section d'Or in 1919 which permanently connected him with the entire Cubism movement.
Lhote was greatly honored throughout his career, receiving the National Grand Prize of Painting in 1955 and staging several retrospectives, including one at the Musee Toulouse Lautrec in the year of his death in 1962.