- Maxime Maufra
- Signed Maufra and dated 1899 (lower right)
- Oil on canvas
- 59 1/2 by 138 1/4 in.
- 151 by 351.5 cm
Grand Hôtel de la Mer, Morgat (acquired from the artist in 1899)
Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired through hotel manager Paul Pia on August 17, 1908)
Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., New York (acquired from the above on March 3, 1954)
Acquired as a gift from the above in 1963
Paris, Salon, 1901, no. 630
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Tableaux, dessins, aquarelles, eaux-fortes de Maxime Maufra, 1907, no. 2
Rouen, Exposition des Artistes Rouennais, 1909, no. 10
Dayton, The Dayton Art Institute, French Paintings 1789-1929 from the Collection of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., 1960, no. 66, illustrated in the catalogue
Victor-Emile Michelete, Maufra, peintre et graveur, Paris, 1908, illustrated p. 10
Arsène Alexandre, Maxime Maufra, Peintre marin et rustique (1861-1918), Paris, 1926, illustrated p. 7
Alexandra R. Murphy, European Paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Medford, 1985, p. 185
Post-Impressionist painter Maxime Maufra is best known for his landscapes and seascapes, and Le Vent exemplifies his mastery of both on a grand scale. This monumental canvas dates from 1899, the year before Maufra met Gauguin in Brittany and joined the avant-garde group of artists painting in Pont-Aven. In his biography of the artist, Arsène Alexandre characterized Maufra as a "poet of the sea" and illustrated Le Vent at the header of his introduction. Indeed, the painting is a powerful example of how Maufra could harmonize conflicting forces of nature in a singular composition.
Le Vent was commissioned in 1899 for the Grand Hôtel in Morgat, a resort town in Brittany. According to Caroline Durand-Ruel Godfroy, who is preparing the Maufra catalogue raisonné, the artist was friends with the hotel's manager, Paul Pia, and produced four paintings for the hotel. In 1908, Pia sold the work to the Durand-Ruel gallery in Paris, from which Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. acquired it in 1954. Chrysler, whose father founded the eponymous automotive company, was a dedicated collector who gave nearly 10,000 objects to the Norfolk Academy of Arts and Sciences, now the Chrylser Museum of Art. Le Vent, however, was gifted to the Museum of Fine Arts in 1963.