Georges Rouault

French (1871 - 1958)
Georges Rouault Deux femmes in profil [Two Women in profile] (pl. 18 of 'Reincarnations du Pere Ubu') First impressions 1917 (published 1932) © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017.


Born 1871
Died 1958
Nationality French

Rouault was born in Paris. After being apprenticed to a stained-glass maker from 1885 to 1890, he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Gustave Moreau, where he was a contemporary of Matisse. Rouault was associated with the fauvist artists, but, unlike them, did not use pure, bright colours or portray similar subjects. Rouault preferred to paint characters like prostitutes, circus performers and outcasts, using sombre but glowing colours. He was a devout Catholic and many of his paintings depict scenes from the life of Christ.

Glossary terms

  • A group of painters in France in the early 20th century, including Henri Matisse and André Derain, who used bold, vivid colours in their work. The name is derived from a derogatory remark from a critic who saw them as akin to wild beasts.