Artistic activity began in Haiti centuries ago Although most Haitian Arts historian claimed that the "Centre d'art" is the birthplace of Haitian Arts, it is evident that during and after colonial times, artistic movements have always been encouraged. Leaders such as Alexandre Petion and Henry Christophe showed great interest in the development of art. A French artist founded an art school in Port-Au-Prince in 1816. Later, in 1846, the "Imperial Academy of the Arts was founded under Faustin Soulouque, an art lover the most famous painter of that school was Desroches Numa (1802-1881).

The Centre D'art:  With the foundation of the" Centre D'art" in 1944 in Port-Au-Prince by Dewitt Peters, Haitian art sprang forward. Finally, those artistically untrained painters were given an environment in which they could develop their skills and express themselves. They were called the first generation of artists and earned the admiration of the western world. Those talented self-taught artists were Hector Hyppolyte, Wilson Bigaud, Castera Bazile, Philome Obin and Rigaud Benoit. Voodoo was the most depicted subject in their works.
While the Centre D'art was the best place to learn and exhibit in Port-Au-Prince, other art schools were founded in other parts of the country. Philome Obin created the "School of Cap-Haitian", Prefete Duffaut founded the "School of Jacmel", Lucien Price and Cedor founded "Foyer Des Arts Plastiques",etc.

The second generation also brought us some great painters such as Andre Pierre, Prefete Duffaut, Seymour Bottex, Gabriel Alix, Wilmino Domond etc. The Centre D'Art will be joined later on by other great painters such as Dieudonne Cedor, Jean Nehemy, Claude Dambreville Georges Ramponneau, Luce Turnier, Lucien Price, Tamara Baussan, luckner Lazar etc.

Over the following years, many other artistic movements wil be created, Patrick Vilaire and Tiga opened "Poto Mitan" in 1968, Saint Soleil brought us great artists such as Prosper Pierre Louis, louisiane Saint Fleurant, Levoy Exil, Stivenson Magloire while the "School of Beauty" founded by Bernard Sejourne, Jean Rene Jerome, Emilcar Simil, Philippe Dodard among others tried to feature the "individual" instead of the group. Saincilus Ismael, founder of "The Artibonite School" influenced his disciples and taught them how to mix voodoo with christianity. Hundred of talented Haitian painters are worth mentionning for their contribution to the development of Haitian Art.


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