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Ernest Montaut (1878-1909)

The Original Automotive Artist 

From the 1890's Ernest Montaut, a young poster artist, started to be fascinated with this new invention "l'automobile" in his native country of France. He covered many early races and became the favored and most successful commercial artist for all the new manufacturers of automobiles, carburetors, brakes, shocks, and wheels as well as race organizers.

His technique gave a lot of movement to those new speed demons by distorting them along with speed lines, clouds of dust following and propelling them forward. Using the Pochoir method he created the outline of the stone lithograph which were individually hand colored by himself and also by a group of his students such as his wife Marguerite (Gamy) Montaut, Nevil, Roowy, and more. Fascinated by speed he also created images for motorcycle racing, biplanes, speed boats, and even bicycles. Those hand colored lithographs were both decorative and historic. They were signed in the plate. His printer, Mabileau et Cie, created approximately 100 lithographs of each (not numbered). Unfortunately he died young but his wife continued on for a few years after.

In the 1950's, Alec Ulmann, the organizer of the 12 Hours of Sebring donated a collection of Montaut's lithographs to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York establishing the recognition of this artist in the art world.

Click here to view our collection from the Ernest Montaut Studio

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