Pierre Jean Louis Germain Soulages was a French painter, printmaker, and sculptor. In 2014, President François Hollande of France described him as "the world's greatest living artist." His works are held by leading museums of the world, and there is a museum dedicated to his art in his hometown of Rodez.
Soulages is known as "the painter of black", owing to his interest in the colour "both as a colour and a non-colour. When light is reflected on black, it transforms and transmutes it. It opens a mental field all its own." He saw light as a work material; striations of the black surface of his paintings enable him to reflect light, allowing the black to come out of darkness and into brightness, thus becoming a luminous colour.
Soulages produced 104 stained-glass windows for the Romanesque architecture of the Abbey Church of Sainte-Foy in Conques from 1987 to 1994. He received international awards, and the Louvre in Paris held a retrospective of his works on the occasion of his centenary.