After the turn of the twentieth century, Valtat and other avant-garde pioneers of Post-Impressionism began to experiment with their brushstrokes. “They laid on the pigment thickly…in strokes that resembled vivid scars and which no longer had anything in common with the hatchings of Impressionism” (Raymond Cogniat, Louis Valtat, Paris, 1963, p. 23). Yet in spite of the artist’s heavy application of paint, the airy subject matter maintains integrity of its own thanks to the stunning Fauvist potpourri of floral tones. As Sarah Whitfield notes, “Louis Valtat, whose color appears to float on the surface of the canvas, is another painter somewhat loosely bracketed with the Fauves. Both Valtat, who like Matisse was born in 1869, and Seyssaud, who was two years older, belonged to the generation of painters who understood the picture surface to be primarily a flat piece of canvas covered with areas of paint" (Sarah Whitfield, Fauvism, London, 1991, p. 28). These “areas of paint” were charged with evocative color in an attempt to enliven the canvas and seduce the spectator. The present work is a poignant example, a stunning synthesis of simplicity of form and exuberant luminosity.
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