Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale


Maurice de Vlaminck
1876 - 1958
signed Vlaminck (lower right)
oil on canvas
73.1 by 92cm., 28 7/8 by 36 1/4 in.
Painted circa 1912.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

This work will be included in the forthcoming Maurice de Vlaminck Digital Database, being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.


Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 2nd June 1965, lot 42
Stephen Hahn, New York
Private Collection, New York (acquired from the above circa 1970)
Thence by descent to the present owners

Catalogue Note

Pecheurs près d'un pont, executed in 1912, depicts a small fishing boat on the river Seine near Châtou, a town located northwest of Paris. Maurice de Vlaminck moved to this region of France when he was sixteen and became deeply attached to the local landscape, striving to render his works with the utmost intensity. To this day, the area around Châtou is known as L'Île des Impressionnistes due to the rich tradition of artists who worked in its surroundings. Indeed, Renoir painted the Châtou Railway Bridge as early as 1881. Moreover, it was in Châtou where two of the leading exponents of Fauvism, Vlaminck and Derain, met by chance and became fast friends, marking a significant moment for the movement of Fauvism that proceeded to come to fruition. The two artists ‘struck up a conversation while walking the rest of the way to Châtou, where they both lived. It turned out that they both painted, and [...] they agreed to meet the next day under the Pont de Châtou [...] with their canvases. So it was, as Vlaminck later said in his typically ocular manner, that the 'School of Châtou was created' (The Fauve Landscape (exhibition catalogue), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1990, p. 123).

The present work reflects Vlaminck’s early Fauve œuvre while showing the influence of Cézanne’s artistic style. The rich palette, consisting of deep greens, browns, oranges and blues, combines with the earth tone hues and contrasts with the black contours, powerfully exhibits Vlaminck's skill in representing the emotion that seized him when he was confronted with this landscape. 

It was during this period that Vlaminck would go sailing on the Seine with the legendary art leader Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. The two shared a boat which they took out together on Sundays. While Kahnweiler was selling works by Vlaminck at this stage, the prolific art dealer was a celebrated champion of Cubist painters, including Léger, Braque and Picasso. With this in mind, their friendship denotes a mutual respect between the two individuals but also underlines the development of art at this time. It is known that Vlaminck had difficulty accepting Cubism's rise, citing amongst other qualms what he saw as a narrow intellectualism. Modernism in France was undergoing a delicate transition from Fauvism to Cubism and it is the artist's pointed disassociation from the latter that makes his work of these years so interesting. Pecheurs près d'un pont presents his direction in a masterful way; a strident individual, Vlaminck created a work that is controlled, learned and true to his character. 

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale