Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958) Paysage aux trois cyprès
Lot 31AR
Maurice de Vlaminck
(1876-1958)
Paysage aux trois cyprès
£ 70,000 - 90,000
US$ 91,000 - 120,000

Lot Details
Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958)
Paysage aux trois cyprès
signed 'Vlaminck' (lower right)
oil on canvas
46.7 x 55cm (18 3/8 x 21 5/8in).

Footnotes

  • The authenticity of this work has kindly been confirmed by the Wildenstein Plattner Institute. This work will be included in the forthcoming Maurice De Vlaminck Digital Critical Catalogue, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.

    Provenance
    Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris, no. 1559.
    Dr. Bonnet Collection, Paris; his sale, Hôtel Savoy, Nice, 26 - 27 April 1948, lot 51.
    Private collection, France (acquired at the above sale).
    Private collection (acquired from the above); their sale, Sotheby's, London, 6 February 2007, lot 466.
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.

    In 1907, following a visit to Cézanne's retrospective exhibition at the Salon d'Automne in Paris, Vlaminck implemented a dramatic change in his painting style. Moving away from the expressive brushwork and 'wild' use of non-mimetic colour which had characterised his Fauvist period, Vlaminck began to adopt a more restrained palette and moved toward a concern for structured spatial compositions in accordance with a 'Cézanneseque' approach. This formal transition was contemporaneously taken up by a number of former Fauves including, including Georges Braques – upon whom the influence of Cézanne would ultimately lead to the development of Cubsim.

    Paysage aux trois cyprès issues from this early stage in Vlaminck's oeuvre and is an example of his newfound approach, in which a concern for form and a certain geometrising of the landscape, akin to Cézanne's landscapes, is clearly discernible. Reflecting on Vlaminck's work from this period, renowned artist historian Jean Selz noted how form rather than pure colour became Vlaminck's primary means of expression: 'Vlaminck undoubtedly found within these new principles of construction – whose general architectural composition more fundamentally links the artist's refined sensitivity to colour and the energy of the forms themselves – a potent means of expression. The angular planes, striking contrasts of light and shade and introduction of more sombre tones all contribute to the harmony of Vlaminck's canvas, permitting the artist to transpose his predilection for vivid, riotous colours to that of mastering form' (J. Selz, Vlaminck, Lugano, 1965, p. 64).

    In the present work, Vlaminck's emphasis on form is immediately perceptible in the positioning of the large, almost abstracted, cypress tree, thrusting through the centre of the composition. Meanwhile, Vlaminck has deliberately distilled the landscape in the background to the most essential of forms, simply defining the houses perched on the hillside by sharply geometric red roofs and the moody sky beyond with angular, faceted brushwork. The entire composition is galvanised by contrasting sinuous and geometric forms which intersect through the picture plane instilling the work with a sense of unification, despite the daringly modern composition. Gesturing towards Cézanne's early twentieth century landscapes of Château Noir and Mont Sainte-Victoire, Vlaminck here newly explores the possibilities of form within the landscape genre, a pursuit which was to inform his work for the rest of his career.
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