French painter of figure subjects, portraits, landscape and still life; also very influential as a teacher and writer on art. Born in Bordeaux. Apprenticed in 1897 to an ornamental sculptor, and also studied decorative sculpture from 1898-1904 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux; began to paint in his spare time. Left the sculpture studio in 1905 to devote himself to painting. Influenced by Gauguin, then from 1910 by Cézanne. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Druet, Paris, 1910. Joined the Cubist movement in 1911; exhibited in 1912 at the Salon de la Section d'Or. Applied Cubist stylisation as a formal discipline to scenes from everyday life. In 1917, after discharge from the army, became one of the Cubist group supported by Léonce Rosenberg; also began to write regularly for the Nouvelle Revue Française. Taught at the Académie Notre-Dame des Champs 1918-20 and afterwards at various other art schools, including one he founded in Montparnasse. Wrote a number of books on art, including La Peinture. Le Cour et l'Esprit 1933 and Traité du Paysage 1939. Died in Paris.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.434