Lot 401
  • 401

Maurice de Vlaminck

200,000 - 300,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Maurice de Vlaminck
  • La Mare aux Grenouilles
  • Signed Vlaminck (lower left)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 35 1/4 by 45 7/8 in.
  • 89.5 by 116.4 cm


Elie Bois, Paris
Galerie Lucy Krohg, Paris
Acquired from the above in 1953


Florent Fels, Vlaminck, l'art et la vie, Paris, 1928, illustrated p. 69
Francis Carco, Maurice de Vlaminck (Les Peintres français nouveaux, no. 7), Paris, 1920, illustrated p. 57

Catalogue Note

Vlaminck once famously quipped, upon first seeing the works of van Gogh in a retrospective in Paris in 1901, that he “loved van Gogh that day more than [his] own father” (quoted in Judi Freeman, The Fauve Landscape, Los Angeles, 1990, pp. 14-15). Van Gogh, hailed alongside Cézanne as a father of modern art, had a profound influence on all the Fauve artists who banded together and formed the eponymous movement in the early 1900s. Known as the “wild beasts,” the Fauves approached their art in an unprecedented manner of rebellion marked by frenzied brushstrokes, distorted colors, and the elimination of minute details—all of which recall van Gogh's expressive style. While the Fauve movement did not officially continue after 1908, the untamed nature and stylistic approach would have a long-lasting impact on the artistic practice and concerns of Vlaminck for the duration of his career.

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.