Montanier was born in Lyon, France, November 18, 1895. He began his studies as an artist in Lyon under E. Laurent, then went to Paris in 1923. In 1924 Montanier won a Bronze medal in the Salon of French Artists and the same year he won the "Prix de Rome" in Rome, where he spent a great deal of time painting. His first personal exhibition was at Jeanne Castel's in Paris in 1939.
After the Second World War he participated in the annual Salon and group expositions in France and abroad, including exhibitions in New York (1974) and in Tokyo. Although his education was in the classic tradition, Montanier evolved toward a transposition of forms that is almost abstract, though still inspired by nature.
One month before his death in 1974, the Le Havre Musee opened the first major retrospective of his works. He is now represented in the Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris, as well as other French, European and American museums and private collections.