Art, naturally


When senior artist Maite Delteil was growing up in France, it was the beauty of the countryside that inspired her to become a painter. “The nature there, the birds and the flowers intrigued me. That is why they often find their way into my paintings,” she confesses. Born in 1933, Maite received her art education at the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts, Academie de la Grand Chaumiere, Academic Julian and National School of Art.

This was followed by a fellowship from the Government of France to study in Spain and Greece. Delteil’s work has been exhibited widely in Europe, America and Japan. She has worked with renowned painter Roger Chapelain-Midy and engraver Robert Cami. In 1956, she met Indian painter Sakti Burman and their love for painting helped them bond. Says Maite, “We were two painters and loved each others’ work. We soon started spending more time with each other and then love happened.” The couple got married in 1963 and have two children, Matthieu and Maya.
The images that comprise Delteil’s recent body of paintings may initially appear to express a preoccupation with the genres of still life and landscape. The paintings, however, are more like experiences that unfold in the borderland between memory and fantasy. “The colours that I use are those that give me happiness. Paintings need to appeal to you visually and using the right colours according to the sentiment of happiness is very important. Besides, my attention to detail is a form of my devotion,” says Maite. Maite is currently holding her third solo exhibition till February 2 in Mumbai after the highly-acclaimed Gardens of Grace in 2004 and Fruits of Grace in 2007. She is showing in Mumbai after a gap of six years and the exhibition will showcase her recent body of works. In the past, the artist has also held exhibitions in Kolkata, Delhi and Baroda. Has she noticed a change in Indian art? “A lot has changed in India,” she says, adding, “There used to be a time when India’s economy was not very well-developed. Earlier, there used to be hardly any crowd at art exhibitions, forget people buying paintings. However, that has changed and the number of art lovers has grown immensely. I am really happy to see so much of enthusiasm.”

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