Chemin (Hayet)

LOUIS HAYET (Pontoise 1864 - Cormeilles-en-Paris 1940)

Born into poverty, Louis Hayet left school early to earn money to support his family, although he was able to study briefly at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs. When time permitted, he would paint and draw in the countryside surrounding his native town of Pontoise, and it was there that he was introduced to Camille Pissarro and his son Lucien. In the early 1880s Hayet painted numerous small watercolours in and around Pontoise, while employed by a firm of decorators. By 1885 he had become closer to Pissarro, and through him met Paul Cézanne and, the same year, Paul Signac and Georges Seurat.
Hayet began working in a pointillist manner in the late 1880s, and for a time was able to rent a small studio in Paris, but was never able to give up his day job as a decorative painter. Despite being invited by Pissarro to join Seurat and Signac at the eighth and final Impressionist exhibition in May 1886, Hayet refused to do so. It was not until 1889 that he exhibited for the first time, showing several works at the Salon des Indépendants. In 1890 Hayet was invited to exhibit with Les XX in Brussels, and in 1894 had two paintings included in the sixth exhibition of Impressionist and Symbolist painters at the Galerie Le Barc de Boutteville, where he continued to show his work for the next three years.
In 1895 he visited Lucien Pissarro in London, and also spent several months travelling around France in 1900 and 1901. In 1902 he mounted two exhibitions of his paintings, drawings and watercolours in small rented spaces in Paris, and once again in 1904, but these all proved to be commercial failures. Indeed, Hayet seems to have spent most of his career struggling for success as a painter, but he was always forced to make a living in other ways.
During and after the First World War he produced mainly views of Paris, while for some time in the 1920s he painted still life subjects. In the early 1930s, suffering from poor health, he had largely ceased to paint.
Hayet chose for his subjects Parisian street scenes, café interiors, musical and circus performances, as well as landscapes and seascapes.


Pontoise, Museum Camille-Pissarro
Geneva, Petit Palais