Rigaud Benoit (1911-1986) 28"x19" Reine Soleil in Black and White Artist's Proof On Paper #2205 GN-HA
About this artist
About this artist
Rigaud Benoit (1911–1986) had become, well before his death, one of the three or four most highly prized Haitian artists. Benoit had been a shoemaker, musician, and a taxi driver before making his living as a painter.
Benoit was an early member of the Haitian art movement known as Naive Art, so-called because of its members' limited formal training. The movement was first recognized and promoted by the Centre d'Art, founded in 1944 by the American Quaker and World War II conscientious objector Dewitt Peters. His paintings were immediately among the Centre's most popular.
In the early 1950s Benoit was one of a handful of artists asked to decorate the interior of the Cathedral of Sainte Trinité; his great mural, Nativity, stands above the high altar. This cathedral has been, unfortunately, destroyed during the devastating earthquake of 2010.
Some of Benoit's later work was surrealist, though he continued to produce scenes of Haitian life—narrative scenes—until his death. Benoit married the daughter of his friend Hector Hyppolite, the first Haitian artist to win international recognition and still the most acclaimed in international art circles.
Benoit's work is characterized by precise draftsmanship, muted colors, and often—in his narrative paintings—a sense of humor. His surrealist paintings mostly depict voodoo scenes or deities.
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