Hyppolite, Hector

Hyppolite, Hector Biography

Hector Hyppolite was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. At the time of his death in 1948, he was recognized as Haiti's foremost painter. By 1946, both Andre Breton and Wilfredo Lam were purchasing his artwork and hailing him as a master of naive art. UNESCO's exhibition in Paris in 1947 gave Hyppolit a world-wide reputation. Born into a family of voodoo priests in 1894, Hyppolite did not start to paint until late in his life. Although by trade a shoemaker, house painter and sometimes voodoo priest, Hyppolite painted postcards for US marines visiting Haiti. His painted architectural decorations in St. Marc brought him to the attention of De Witt Peters, founder and director of the Centre-d'Art. With De Witt's encouragement, Hyppolite, at age 55, moved to Port-au-Prince and devoted himself to painting. Using chicken feathers and his fingers as well as brushes, Hyppolite produced a body of work of remarkable richness and complexity.

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