February 13, 2010

Roland Dutel, La demeure aux figures / The house with the figures

pictures by Kirsten (Flickr)
not available anymore

Roland Dutel is an autodidact artist, who belongs to the French group of artistes singuliers. The rather loose description art singulier is used in France for artists who in general are self-taught, are non-mainstream and practice a spontaneous, non-intellectual way of expression. 

The term has it's origin in the famous 1978 Paris exhibition Les singuliers de l'art: des inspirés aux habitants paysagistes. In Anglo-Saxon terminology one would use the term outsider art.  

Life and works

Born in 1955 in the community of Andrézieux in the Loire department, Roland Dutel currently lives and works in the south of France, in the center of the small community of Dieulefit.

He makes paintings and sculptural works by re-using all kind of materials, like paper, iron and plastics.

From 1989 on Dutel has transformed his house into an art environment by decorating its exterior and turning the cellars in the interior into kind of decorated grottos.

The decoration of the facade is very lively and expressive, with some representations of figures in it.

In a very general way this work is in the same range as the work of Danielle Jacqui, who decorated exterior and interior of her house in Pont de l'Étoile. Both Dutel and Jacqui adhere to art singulier.

Documentation/more pictures
* Article (2010) by Jeaninen Rivais, on her website
* In her weblog Sophie Lepetit in March 2014 had some posts about Dutel:
* Pictures by Guénola Moreau (2011) on Google photo's
* Article (November 2019) by Dominique Clément on his weblog Hérault Insolite, with a variety of pictures

* Video by Lucjeanluc (YouTube, 2'29", uploaded July 2010)

first published February 2010, last revised October 2022

Roland Dutel
La demeure aux figures
Place des Tilleuls
262220 Dieulefit, dept Drome, region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France
as far as I know the house can not be visited
anymore as kind of an art gallery,
so visits -if any- only on appointment


  1. Hello dea Henk:
    Very interesting post. When you mentioned that Mr Dutel was succesfull in selling his art, it irremediably led me to think on which situation could be better for an artist creativity. In first place, to have a more or less stable source of incomes may allow him to fully deploy his artistic skills by having not to worry about the economical aspect, and by this mean, avoiding any kind of bothering distractions. But at the same time i thought, the very action of sell his art may be a distracton itself, and perhaps, thoughtlessly, to exert within him a kind of tirany of taste and style, as it is probably that will be focus all of his creative energy in development that art that may be better accepted by the public, little by little leaving aside its natural interest to innvovate and allowing outside and strange voices to influence his ideas. Just a reflexion. Wish you a nice week and all the best dear friend.

  2. That is a nice observation, Alberto Oliver, thanks. I noticed myself that in this post I was talking maybe too much about denominations in art, like "art singulier" and "professional outsider artist" and my feeling is, that this descriptions do not matter at all. Like mr Dutel himself is reported to have said that he would not know what art might be... I have the idea that he is just following his own route, and is not influenced by hypes, trends or other nice developments around him (and us). Have a nice week!

  3. This house makes me want to get the clay and start decorating!... if only we owned this house and didn't rent! :-)

  4. Hi Watercats, right, being the owner of a house gives one all possibilities of claying, modelling and painting the facade, but maybe renting has the advantage you have to look for other creative activities, like making music (won't easiliy forget the video you presented around christmas, remember?) All the best, Henk