Pierre Adolphe Valette was a French Impressionist painter. His most acclaimed paintings are urban landscapes of Manchester, now in the collection of Manchester Art Gallery. Today, he is chiefly remembered as L. S. Lowry’s tutor.
He was born in St. Etienne, France, in 1876. He trained at the Ecole Municipale de Beaux-Arts et des Arts Decoratifs in Bordeaux.
Valette arrived in England for unknown reasons in 1904. He studied at the Birbeck Institute, London. In 1905 he travelled to the North West of England where he began a short career designing greetings cards and calendars for a Manchester printing company.
He attended evening classes at Manchester Municipal School of Art and in 1907 he was invited to join the staff as a teacher. His French teaching style, painting by demonstration, was new to the United Kingdom. Lowry expressed great admiration for Valette, who taught him new techniques and showed him the potential of the urban landscape as a subject.
In 1920 Pierre Adolphe Valette resigned from the Institute because of ill health. He stayed in Lancashire for a further eight years, teaching privately and painting in Manchester and Bolton. In 1928 he returned to France. He died in 1942.