- BOULEVARD DE LA MADELEINE
- Signed marquet (lower left)
- Oil on canvas
Private Collection, France
Paris, Musée Carnavalet, Paris vu par les maîtres de Corot à Utrillo, 1961, no. 72
In Boulevard de la Madeleine, Marquet explores the effect of snow on the urban landscape of Paris – a subject that interested many of his contemporaries. Marquet was no doubt inspired by the effets de neige landscapes which appeared in the Impressionist exhibitions, including Monet’s Boulevard des Capucines which appeared in the first of these (fig. 1). The distinctive diffusion of light in the cold winter air and the snow-covered streets made for a unique image of the city. Whereas some winter landscapes at the time create a bleak atmosphere, Boulevard de la Madeleine retains a certain vivacity with the activity on the sidewalks and the boulevard itself.
Marquet was particularly interested in urban views from raised vantage points. Many of his landscapes from the first decades of the twentieth century depict cities as experienced from a higher and more inclusive viewpoint. However, it was Paris that most intrigued him. “Marquet’s attraction to painting was encouraged from early childhood by his mother. On her initiative they moved to Paris, where, she thought, he would develop and realize his talent. Until her death in 1907, they lived together in various apartments, all on the banks of the Seine. From the window of their apartment Marquet saw the sights of Paris, and the bird’s eye-view perspective that characterizes many of these paintings, originated there.” (Fauvism “Wild Beasts” (exhibition catalogue), Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 1996, p. 112)
Figure 1 Claude Monet, Boulevard des Capucines, oil on canvas, 1873-74, The Nelson-Atkins Musem of Art, Kansas City