Antoine Carte dit Anto Carte

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Biography of Antoine Carte dit Anto Carte ( 1886-1954 )

Son of a carpenter, Antoine Carte was born on the 8th December 1886 in Mons. He early showed how he was gifted for drawing and music. From 1905, he trained under Antoine Bourlard and Emile Motte at the Mons’ Academy of Fine Arts before joining the Brussels’ Academy from 1908 to 1910 where he had class under Montald, Delville and Fabry. These three important symbolist painters had a great influence on his work. At the same time, he did some decorative works and practiced many different techniques like modelling, ceramics, wood cut and even tapestry.

He gained a grant in 1911 and left to Paris where he stayed at Cavaillé-Coll and Léon Bakst’s home who worked for the Russian Ballet of Serge Diaghilev at that time. He met Emile Verhaeren too and discovered the work of Puvis de Chavannes and Maurice Denis. He spent many time at the Louvre Museum where he studied Italian painting from the Renaissance. Keen to increase his knowledge, he left Paris and went to study fresco in Florence.

After a difficult period, he became a recognized painter in the 1920’s. Indeed, in 1923, during the Parisian Exhibition named Les Imagiers belges (Belgian Illustrators), he get in touch with the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh in the US. Two years later, in 1925, he had there a solo exhibition. This one gave him lasting success with American collectors. Our watercolor was one of the sixty works exhibited and sold during this show.

In 1928, he created with Louis Buisseret and Léon Eeckman the Group Nervia to promote Walloon art. Anto Carte was an expressionist and symbolist painter. He painted biblical scenes whose protagonists were farmers, sailors or workers. Most of his paintings present large flat tint tone and reveal a deep science of drawing. Considered to be a humanist painter, one can find in his work a combination of expressive power and decorative synthesis.

He also gained success in Spain when he received the gold medal at the International Exhibition in Barcelone. In 1929, he succeeded to his master Constant Montald as professor of decorative and monumental painting at the Academy La Cambre. Then he became professor at the Brussels’ Academy of Fine Art in 1932, where he taught stained glass, fresco and tapestry.

Anto Carte died in Brussels on February 1954.

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