Pont de Seine announces the daring palette and bold brushwork that would characterise the height of his Fauve years. A precursor to the revolutionary direction that Matisse’s art would take over the next decade, Pont de Seine is part of a series of works that earned the Frenchman a reputation as a master of colour, as John Elderfield describes: ‘after an extended stay in Corsica and Toulouse in 1898-1899, [Matisse] produced an important group of paintings in high key, arbitrary colours with un-naturalistically broken or atomised forms […] constructed purely from the relationship between colours, whose descriptive function is only summarily indicated. These “proto-fauve” paintings suddenly reveal the nature of Matisse’s genius as a colourist: his using colour not to imitate light, but to create it’ (John Elderfield, Henri Matisse, A Retrospective, New York, 1992, p. 81).
In the summer of 1897, Matisse travelled to Brittany to stay and work alongside his friend, the Australian painter John P. Russell. Matisse had stayed in Brittany previously for two summers, but it was this trip that ingrained the use of bold colours that would come to define his most important work of the early 20th century. In Pont de Seine, Matisse combines his inspiration of northern Brittany, where he was ‘seduced by the brilliance of pure colour. Returning from the trip with a passion for rainbow colours’, (the artist quoted in Pierre Schneider, Matisse, London, 2002, p.59) with his love-affair with Paris.
Pont de Seine is closely related to the celebrated series painted from the window of a studio in Paris that Matisse rented from 1895 to 1907, and again in 1913. The series depicts a spectacular view over the Seine, with the impressive Pont Saint-Michel dominating the foreground. In the present work the footpath is bathed in sunshine, almost aglow with golds and yellows, whilst the shadows cast onto the water by the three round arches below are indicated with deft strokes of dark blue. Other versions from the series reside in the permanent collections of The Phillips Collection in Washington, the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale