Pierre Jean Charles Deval [1897-1993] was a french painter of the 20th century. He began to study art seriously in Paris as student of painter Émile-René Ménard and Lucien Simon. Deval had his first show of drawings, portraits of young women, at the Lyon salon of 1918. In 1921, he became a friend of the french surrealist poet Jacques Rigaut, who introduced him into the circle of the Dadaism, and of Tristan Tzara, and writers André Breton and Louis Aragon.
He briefly edited an artistic review in Lyon between 1921-1922. At the 1921 Salon d’Automne in Paris he had his first success with the painting Ariane, a realistic painting of the back of a woman lying on her side, looking at a cityscape, which was purchased by the French Government for the Musee Luxembourg, and hung in the Jeu de Pomme. Other painters in the salon that year included Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Gauguin, Roussel and Cross. In the autumn of 1922, the success of his painting Ariadne earned him a two year fellowship at the Villa Abd-el-Tif in Algiers, a residence for painters. He was 25. He had become disenchanted with the Dada group and began looking for a new style of his own. In Algeria he encountered fauvist Albert Marquet, twenty-two years older, and became a friend of that painter.
His paintings ranged from landscapes of Algiers and scenes of Algerian women preparing to bathe and dressing, to ventures in modernism. In 1924 he was selected to participate in the Venice Biennale, with a group of french artists that included Albert Marquet, Pierre Bonnard, and Maurice Denis. His works of this period featured exotic scenes from Algeria, and odalisques, as well as cityscapes of Algiers. His modernist paintings and drawings of blacks and whites together were condemned by traditional critics as too radical, while his other paintings were condemned by modernist critics as too traditional When his fellowship ended he returned to Paris and moved into the studio at 19 quai St. Michel which Matisse had just vacated. He experimented with different styles, and in 1926 he painted five watercolors of modern Parisian life for a book L’ecole des indifferents’ by Jean Giraudoux. He worked as an illustrator for several journals, and showed his work in Paris galleries.