Maurice Esteve was one of the last painters of the generation that constituted, in the immediate after-war years, la Nouvelle Ecole de Paris (the New School of Paris) of which he was one of the principal representatives. Beginning in 1924, he frequented the free workshop of l’Academie Colarossi in Montparnasse, while at the same time continuing to evolve independently at the school of painters he admired, like Poussin, Fouquet and Cezanne whom he placed at the cutting edge. For several years, he painted landscapes, still lifes and portraits.
Tempted by surrealism, he broke free after having assimilated, like many other painters of his generation, the lesson of Leger. During his first solo exhibition in 1930 at the gallery Yvangot in Paris, as remarked by the critic Maurice Raynal, he presented his paintings which were a sensitive interpretation of cubism combining the arabesque of the stroke with the constructive power of color.