PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, PARIS
Painted in 1909-10, La Mare aux Grenouilles is an exquisite example of the lasting influence of the Fauve movement on Vlaminck's oeuvre as well as his profound understanding of several other artistic styles and techniques that he experimented with thereafter—most notably those of Paul Cézanne. The present image, which depicts a pond in the small town of Grenouilles in northwest France, known today as Chablis, is constructed through strokes of paint which are applied onto the canvas in broad, quick strokes. While the brushwork is consistent with Vlaminck’s earlier works, this painting exudes a sense of fluidity and darkness that recall the later work of Cézanne. The monochromatic palette, consisting of greens, browns, oranges and greys, is reminiscent of the darker palette seen in the latter artist's paintings of the 1880s (see fig. 1). Like the mature work of both van Gogh and Cézanne, La Mare aux Grenouilles depicts a townscape that not only captures the essence of the site, but also expresses Vlaminck rebellious personality and the darker, complicated sentiments harbored in his psyche as his career reached its maturity.
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