Hector Hyppolite (1894-1948) 19"x26" Gossip Room c1940 Acrylic on Board #1201GN-HA

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p>"Gossip Room" was painted by the late famous master painter and the patriarch of Haitian art, Hector Hyppolite from St Marc, Haiti. This amazing naive masterpiece representing a couple of people relaxing and chatting, and a vase of flowers in the background. It is an oil on board and painted circa the 1940s. This painting is published in the following books: 

  • Mystical Imagination The Art Of Haitian Master Hector Hyppolite, pp. 76
  • Haitian Art Society, 2012, p 115

About this artist

At his death in 1948, Hyppolite was recognized as Haiti’s foremost painter. By 1946, André Breton and Wilfredo Lam purchased his work and hailed him as a master of naïve art. 

UNESCO’s 1947 exhibition in Paris gave Hyppolite a worldwide reputation. Born into a family of voodoo priests, Hyppolite did not start to paint until late. Hyppolite traveled to New York, Cuba, Dahomey, and Ethiopia during World War I before returning to St. Marc in 1920. 

Although by trade a shoemaker, house painter, and sometimes voodoo priest, Hyppolite painted postcards for American marines visiting Haiti. His painted architectural decorations in St. Mark brought him to the attention of DeWitt Peters, founder and Director of the Centre D’Art. With DeWitt’s encouragement, Hyppolite moved to Port-au-Prince and devoted himself to painting. 

Using chicken feathers, his fingers, and brushes, Hyppolite produced a body of work of remarkable richness and complexity. His works are collected and exhibited in major museums throughout the world. 

In 2008, the Government of Haiti issued a decree establishing June 2008- June 2009 as the year of Hector Hyppolite as a testimony to his impact on the art world. 

The Musée du Louvre in Paris held an exhibit from November 5th, 2011, through February 6th, 2012. It published an accompanying book on the life and art of Hector Hyppolite, one of Haiti’s greatest artists, the patriarch of Haitian art. The proceeds from the sale of the book will be used to fund the restoration of the collection of the Musée d’Art Haitien du College St. Pierre in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 

A legend in his country, Hyppolite is known for his aesthetically complex yet highly intuitive paintings. He died in 1948, at the peak of his fame, leaving a legacy that has inspired a whole school of Haitian painting.

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