Lot 386
  • 386

ALBERT MARQUET | Notre-Dame de Paris

120,000 - 180,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Albert Marquet
  • Notre-Dame de Paris
  • signed Marquet (lower right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 50.3 by 61.4cm., 19 3/4 by 24 1/8 in.
  • Painted circa 1908.


Sale: Grisebach, Berlin, 4th June 1999, lot 11
Private Collection, Hamburg
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, 11th November 1999, lot 255
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner


Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Exposition de Petits Maître du XIX siécle, 1913, n.n.
Hamburg, Hamburg Kunstverein, Albert Marquet, Peintures, Pastels, Aquarelles, Dessins, 1964-65, no. 31, illustrated in the catalogue

Catalogue Note

Painted at the height of Albert Marquet's Fauve period, this work is part of an important series of Parisian cityscapes that the artist returned to throughout his career. During his time at the École des Beaux-Arts, Marquet met Henri Manguin and Charles Camoin. Together, these young artists would go on to form the core of the Fauve movement, which took the art world by storm at the 1905 Salon d'Automne. In that critical year, Marquet rented an apartment on the seventh floor of a building on the quai du Louvre, a wharf along the Seine. From his window, Marquet had access to sweeping vistas of both banks of the river, including a panoply of landmarks including Notre-Dame Cathedral and the bustle of busy Hausmannian boulevards in cosmopolitan Paris at the turn of the twentieth century. 

The present work illustrates how Marquet began to simplify the compositional forms of his works. Muted blocks of colour capture the haziness of the Parisian air and 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 [...]  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 is accompanied by an Attestation of Inclusion from the Wildenstein Institute, and it will be included in the forthcoming Marquet Digital Catalogue Raisonné, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.