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PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Maurice de Vlaminck
LE PÉSAGE À LONGCHAMPS
JUMP TO LOT
65

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Maurice de Vlaminck
LE PÉSAGE À LONGCHAMPS
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist and Modern Art, Evening Sale

|
London

Maurice de Vlaminck
1876 - 1958
LE PÉSAGE À LONGCHAMPS
signed Vlaminck (lower right)
oil on canvas
50 by 65cm.
19 5/8 by 25 5/8 in.
Painted circa 1905-07.
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To be included in the forthcoming Vlaminck Catalogue raisonné being prepared by Maithe Vallès-Bled and Godeliève de Vlaminck under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.

Provenance

Mme Lucien Bourdon, Paris (acquired by 1951. Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Collection de Madame Bourdon: Importants tableaux modernes, 25th March 1990, lot 10)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Le Fauvisme, 1951, no. 136, illustrated in the catalogue
Paris, Galerie Romanet, Rêve et poésie ou la joie de peindre, 1955
Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Les Fauves, 1962, no. 133 (as dating from 1903)
Paris, Galerie Max Kaganovitch, Oeuvres choisies de 1900 à nos jours, 1964, no. 70, illustrated in the catalogue (as dating from 1905)
Paris, Galerie Max Kaganovitch, Dessins, aquarelles, tableaux, sculptures des XIXème et XXème siècles, 1966, no. 108 (as dating from 1905)
Paris, Galerie Daniel Malingue, Maîtres Impressionnistes et modernes, 1990, no. 8, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Le Fauvisme ou 'l'épreuve du feu.' Eruption de la modernité en Europe, 1999-2000, no. 59, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Basel, Fondation Beyeler, Couleurs à la lumière, 2000, no. 59, illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

Maurice Genevoix, Vlaminck, l'homme et l'oeuvre, Paris, 1954, illustrated p. 47 (as dating from 1907)
Marcel Sauvage, Vlaminck, sa vie et son message, Geneva, 1956, pl. 33, illustrated (as dating from 1906)
Louis Vauxcelles, Le Fauvisme, Geneva, 1958, illustrated p. 48

Catalogue Note

Painted at the height of Vlaminck's involvement with the Fauves, Le Pesage de Longchamps is a stunning and unique portrayal of the racetrack at Longchamps in Bois de Boulogne, just west of Paris. Vlaminck here employs the exuberant palette and bold brushstrokes that granted him fame among the most significant artistic and critical figures of Europe. Along with his friend Derain, and inspired by the contemporaneous work of Matisse and Braque, Vlaminck explored the possibilities of colour and exploded the boundaries of realistic depiction. His sensational and prolific output from these years would lead Guillaume Apollinaire to deem him 'one of the most talented painters of his generation […] His simple and intensive technique allows the lines their full liberty, the volumes their full relief, and the colors their full clarity, their full beauty' (quoted in Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde (exhibition catalogue), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2006, p. 124).

 

In many of his works from the Fauve period, Vlaminck focused on the idyllic landscape of Chatou, along the Seine - a region he rarely left during the Fauve years. The present work, however, is a brilliant example of Vlaminck's ability to capture the sensational vivacity and excitement of a crowd scene. The Fauve artists often depicted busy outdoor scenes, accentuating the vibrant activity of their subject with bold and aggressive brushstrokes. In particular, it was Dufy who was fascinated by the spectacle of regattas, horse races and public festivals, and like Vlaminck, delighted in rendering the lively atmosphere of the spectacle, and the colourful costumes of the public. Vlaminck brings the same wild and unrestrained sensibility that permeates the landscape paintings from Chatou to his figural compositions, and he effectively captures the essential mood of these moments.

 

Vlaminck's use of the horserace theme finds important precedent in the work of the Impressionists and Neo-Impressionists. This setting, with its vibrant activity and modern sensibility, was employed by many influential artists, such as Degas and Manet. Vlaminck aligns himself with this artistic legacy in Le Pésage de Longchamps, choosing to focus solely on the crowd with its range of color and figural dynamism. In his famous essay from 1863 'Le Peintre de la vie moderne,' Charles Baudelaire also focused on the racetrack crowd in a description that undoubtedly inspired many modern artists when he wrote: 'innumerable cages, from which slim young men and women garbed in the eccentric costume authorized by the season, hoisted up on cushions, on seats, or on the roof, are attending some ceremony of the turf which is going on in the distance' (C. Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life and Others Essays, London, 1965, p. 39).

 

Ambroise Vollard, who became Vlaminck's dealer in the first decade of the twentieth century, saw the amazing potential in the art of the Fauves. He instantly sought out Vlaminck and Derain, seeing in them the fiery spirit of artistic pioneers. It was around the time that he painted Le Pésage de Longchamps that Vlaminck was introduced to Vollard. The dealer later commented on this first meeting, describing Vlaminck as 'a tall, powerful fellow whose red scarf, knotted round his neck, might have suggested some militant anarchist, if, from the way in which he was carrying a canvas, I had not immediately recognized him for an artist. As far as I remember, the picture in question represented a sunset which appeared to have been squeezed out of tubes of paint in a fit of rage. The effect was startling' (quoted in ibid., p. 123).

 

This work has been requested for the Vlaminck exhibition to be held at the Musée du Luxembourg, Paris from February to July 2008.

Impressionist and Modern Art, Evening Sale

|
London