THE GREAT CENTURY
Maurice de VLAMINCK (Paris, 1876 – Rueil-la-Gadelière, 1958)
Port Entrance, 1912.
Oil on canvas.
Signed lower right: “Vlaminck”.
Measures: 21.3 x 25.6 inches.
This piece will be included in volume 2 of the catalogue raisonné of the entire works of the artist, which is actually being prepared by Maithé Vallès-Bled, and will be entitled “Maurice de Vlaminck: la période cézanienne (1907-1916)”, under the auspices of the Wildenstein Institute.
· Georges Moos Gallery, Geneva;
· Private collection, 1962;
· Soldat Christie’s London May 20, 1998;
· Présidence Gallery, Paris;
· Private collection, France.
· 2001,Sao Paolo, Brazil, Museum of Brazilian Art, Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation, Vlaminck, reproduced under number 17 in the catalogue;
· 2009, Itinerant exhibition, Madrid and Barcelona, Caixa Forum: Vlaminck, a wild instinct. Paintings from 1900 to 1915.
Maurice de VLAMINCK. Port Entrance, circa 1912. Oil on canvas. Signed.
“The Port Entrance” is a representative painting of Vlaminck’s transition, lived between 1908 and the beginning of the Great War. At this time he traveled quite a lot and exhibited many works in many European nations: Belgium, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. He frequently represented the river banks of the Seine, those at Bougival, as well as landscapes of Le Havre and Rouen, but he also painted what he saw at the Thames during his 1911 trip to Southampton and London. In 1913, persuaded by his friend André Derain, he discovered the lights of Mediterranean France and represented the Old Port of Marseilles.
After having used the resources of pure color during his Fauve period, Vlaminck discovered its limits: a yellow would stay yellow, and a navy blue would remain a navy blue. While he swam away from Fauvism, he started to feel the inspiration of Cézanne, an inspiration that lead him to approach the construction of his canvases with strictness.
During his years of Post-War, he started to paint landscapes where the contrasts between shadow and light can be appreciated; where more somber tonalities were introduced, contributing to the harmony of the paintings. He transposed his old predilection for lively colors with a domination of the forms, angular plans, and dense, dramatic environments.
His paintings became somber and aggressive and the colors contrasting. Vlaminck played with black and white, which he used both in his tempestuous skies as in his vast, disturbing, deep seascapes.
At a time in which modernism in France evolved from Fauvism to Cubism, this desire of rupture rendered his work interesting and announced the creative period of his life known to critics as the “Lyric” period, which should be received with great enthusiasm.