Lot 179
  • 179

ALBERT MARQUET | Paris, quai du Louvre, soleil d’hiver

700,000 - 1,000,000 USD
795,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Paris, quai du Louvre, soleil d’hiver
  • Signed Marquet (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas


Galerie Druet, Paris (acquired directly from the artist; titled Vue de Paris)
Pieter Van der Velde, Le Havre (acquired from the above on October 21, 1908)
Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, October 14, 1942, lot 61 (titled Pont des arts)
Galerie Schmit, Paris (acquired before 1967)
Acquired from the above on January 30, 1974


Paris, Galerie Schmit, Marquet, 1967, no. 19, illustrated in the catalogue
Paris, Galerie Schmit, Tableaux de maîtres français, 1900-1955, 1973, no. 30, illustrated in the catalogue
Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, The Fauves, 1975, no. 6, illustrated in the catalogue
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art & London, The Royal Academy of Arts, The Fauve Landscape, 1990, no. 123 
Aichi, Prefectural Museum of Art & traveling, Fauvism and Modern Japanese Painting, 1992-93, n.n. 
Sydney, The Art Gallery of New South Wales & Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, 1995-96, no. 65, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Tel Aviv, The Tel Aviv Museum, Fauvism—Wild Beasts, 1996, no. 45, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Paris, Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, Le Fauvism ou l'épreuve du feu, 1999-2000, no. 85, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Paris, Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, Albert Marquet, Peintre du temps suspendu, 2016, no. 9, illustrated in color in the catalogue


The Courtauld Institute of Art, ed., The 20th Century at the Courtauld Institute Gallery, London, 2002, illustrated in color p. 35

Catalogue Note

Born in Bordeaux in 1875 and precociously talented in the arts, Albert Marquet was encouraged by his family to pursue a career in painting from an early age. He enrolled in the École national des arts décoratifs in 1892, where he became acquainted with Henri Matisse. Later, during his time at the École des Beaux-Arts, he met Henri Manguin and Charles Camoin. Together, these young artists would go on to form the core of the Fauve movement, which took the Parisian art world by storm at the 1905 Salon d'Automne, where critic Louis Vauxcelles' disapproving description of their daringly colorful work as the output of "les fauves"—wild beasts—gave the group the perfect revolutionary moniker. 

Painted at the height of Marquet's Fauve period, this work is one of the most important in a series of Parisian cityscapes that he continued throughout his career. In 1905 he rented an apartment on the seventh floor of a building on the quai du Louvre, the wharf along the Seine depicted here. Out his window were sweeping vistas of both banks of the river and the bustle of busy Hausmannian boulevards in cosmopolitan Paris at the turn of the twentieth century (see fig. 1). From the vantage points of the many studios and flats he occupied in Paris over the course of his life, Marquet rendered the city as he saw it at different times of day and during different seasons. 

Marquet's serial exploration of views of the city from balconies directly echos the Impressionists' interest in capturing Parisian landmarks and street scenes under a variety of atmospheric conditions. As with the Impressionists, Marquet pays particular attention to the effects of light on the urban landscape, applying brushstrokes and experimenting with color with the goal of bringing the viewer into a fleeting moment. Marquet's interest in depicting the Seine, in particular, of all landmarks in Paris, is illustrative of his lifelong affinity for bodies of water as an artistic motif. During his well-traveled career, Marquet and his easels almost always gravitated towards the edges of such bodies, from the ports of Rotterdam to the coastlines of North Africa to settlements along the Bosphorus.

Over and beyond the use of muted yet undoubtedly Fauvist colors, the present work illustrates how Marquet had begun to simplify the compositional forms of his works. Muted blocks of color, capturing the haziness of the Parisian air, interact with rhythms created by the bold outlines of trees on the riverbank. With his quick application of pigment, Marquet moves towards an abstracted version of reality: the buildings, wagons and people all economically rendered with the fewest brushstrokes possible. As Donatien Grau wrote of Marquet's Parisian wharf series on the occasion of the artist's retrospective at the Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris in 2016, "Marquet always returns to the same composition: the diagonal, marked by the flow of the Seine and the horizontal, the bridge, to divide the composition and mark the horizon... The colors—which remind us of Marquet's Fauvist roots—are toned down in shades of purple, blocks of pink, in the green, orange or earthy waters. All these elements maintain a tight composition and a synthetic style that blurs the details" (quoted in Albert Marquet, Peintre du temps suspendu (exhibition catalogue), Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris, Paris, 2016, p. 86). The achievement of atmosphere through simplicity and elimination of ornamentation signals the direction Marquet's art took during this critical period of his career and his place in the long line of radical French artists finding new ways to depict the city around them.

This work will be included in the forthcoming Marquet Digital Catalogue Raisonné, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.