As part of the first generation of Haitian artists, this native of Portau-Prince was a musician and a chauffeur to DeWitt Peters, the director of the Centre d’Art, before he became a painter. One of Rigaud Benoit’s lasting achievements is the mural “Nativity” inside Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince. Daily life, folklore and voodoo are his subjects of choice. With age, he added a surrealist touch to his canvases. Slow-working and meticulous, he sometimes finished only two or three paintings in a year, which was a frustration for eager collectors. A narrative painter of great accomplishment, Benoit was called by Selden Roman “one of the three popular masters of Haitian painting.”

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