Albert Malet (1912-1986)
It is now sixteen years since the death of “the last of the Impressionists” as Albert Malet was considered to be by the major art critics of his time.
Born in 1912, at Bosc-le-Hard, near Rouen, Albert Malet was greatly impressed by the work of Jean-Baptiste Corot However, his greatest inspiration to pursue a career in the world of art came from the famous Rouen painter, Robert Antoine Pinchon. A tremendous understanding developed between the two men, which evolved into a great friendship that lasted until Pinchon’s death. Malet became his successor as the head of the prestigious L’École de Rouen.
It is important to note that as a key member of L’École de Rouen, Malet painted regularly with the other leading Rouennais artists of the time such as Narcisse Guilbert, Marcel Couchaux, Pierre Le Trividic, Narcisse Hénocque and Maurice Louvrier. His work also inspired a number of noted poets of the time, namely Philippe Tournaire, Pierre Laurent, Roger Vaccaro and Olivier Costa de Beauregard.
A highly talented man, Malet was also a meteorologist, a botanist, an astronomist and had a great knowledge of precious metals and prehistoric fossils. He held a diploma from L’École Normale, and was Vice-President of the Société des Sciences and Chevalier des Palmes Académiques.
Albert Malet was a member of the Comité des Peintres Normandes and the Société des Artistes Rouennais. The Salon de L’École Française invited him to exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. He won a gold medal at the Salon U.F.O.L.E.A. and a bronze in the exhibition for Artistes Français. Malet’s paintings have been shown throughout the major galleries around the world and the President of France offered his work on numerous occasions as a gift to visiting heads of state, including President Ronald Reagan.
Despite his many titles and achievements, Albert Malet remained eternally modest – always encouraging his pupils and admiring the qualities of others. Malet’s sole focus was inspiring young artists to develop and continue the great tradition of L’École de Rouen.