This work is an expressive example of the impact of photography on painting’s parameters as an art and a practice. With the advent of photography in the early 1800s and its proliferation into everyday life by the turn of the century, painting was no longer confined to serving purely documentary purposes. With this new freedom of practice, Impressionist and Fauve artists such as Herbin were able to reinvent the possibilities of paint to emphasize self-expression, individual perspective and emotional release. Although the following years would see the artist move into the famed Bateau Lavoir studios in Paris and work alongside artists Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Juan Gris to rapidly evolve his style through Cubism, ultimately becoming a founding member of the Abstraction-Création movement, this piece serves as a monument to his Fauvist practice and an early example of his career-long passion for the qualities of color.
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