Louis Valtat was born in Dieppe, France on August 8, 1869. He studied at le Lyc�e Hoche in Versailles where his parents lived. In 1886, when he was 17 years old, he applied for admission at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and completed his training at the Acad�mie Julian where he made friends with Albert Andr� and Pierre Bonnard.
Valtat suffered from a pulmonary condition and often went to Banyuls for treatment. There he met George-Daniel de Monfreid who introduced him to Aristide Maillol. He went on several trips to Spain, either to Llan�a or Figueras. In 1895, as he was still recovering from his illness in Arcachon, Louis Valtat painted numerous pictures. These paintings introduced the Fauvist style which was thought of as just as outrageous then as they would be ten years later.
After the 1940 exodus and the following years' occupation, Louis Valtat had serious problems with his eyes (glaucoma) and seldom left his workshop located at l'avenue de Wagram, where he realized his last paintings dated 1948.