This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being prepared by Maïthé Vallès-Bled and Godeliève de Vlaminck under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.
Galerie Drouant David, Paris
Private Collection (sold: Sotheby's, London, June 30, 1987, lot 44)
Vlaminck, Matisse and Derain pioneered the Fauve movement in 1905. The present work, done about two years later, is amongst the last of the important compositions in the Fauve style. As is characteristic of a Fauvist composition, Vlaminck employs sweeping brush strokes and the bold, black outlining that he uses here to define the trees and the houses.
When Paysage aux toits rouges was painted, towards the end of his affiliation with the Fauves, Vlaminck had begun to favor a more restricted palette where blue predominates. This adaptation of color had been inspired by an important 1907 retrospective in Paris of Cézanne’s work, an exhibition that would redirect the course of Vlaminck’s production. In the present work, Vlaminck not only employes a wide variety of blue tones, but also introduces a certain rigor and order to his paint application. Like Cézanne, Vlaminck builds the composition through series of parallel-running, block-like dabs of paint – the famed constructivist brushstroke that provided a basis for the invention of cubism. In this work particular attention is paid to the transition the eye makes from foreground forms, such as the tall trees, to the distant view of the hills. This indication of “passage,” how to relate on a two dimensional surface the experience of looking at forms existing on separate planes and how the eye changes its focus to take in the scene, is a significant move past both Impressionism and Fauvism.
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