That same year he returned to his hometown of Chatou, a suburb of Paris located on the Seine. Vlaminck had grown up an avid yachtsman and found subjects for his paintings in the bustling life on the river and along the river’s edge. The present work comes from a significant period after his return to Chatou and following his rediscovery of the work of the Provençal master—the mutual influences of which are strongly apparent in the composition. Sailing boats populate the water surface, poised and proud; one particular boat dominates the foreground, whose grand sail is boldly reflected in the river. In the strong vertical lines of the sails and trees, Vlaminck references Cézanne’s constructed compositions with clearly delineated planes. The palette, too, is highly evocative of Cézanne, with deep blues and greens. There is nevertheless a freedom in the handling that is reminiscent of the Vlaminck’s earlier Fauve work. Voiliers sur la Marne is therefore a beautiful example of a transitional period in the artist’s work, evoking the structured manner and colors of Cézanne, which had the effect of revitalizing him in 1907, while nevertheless maintaining the qualities of exuberance which sat at the very heart of Fauvism.
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